Skip to main content

Full text of "Elements of general philosophy"

See other formats


UNIVERSITY EXTENSION MANUALS 

EDITED BY PROFESSOR KNIGHT 



ELEMENTS 



OF 



GENERAL PHILOSOPHY 



ll 



GENERAL PLAN OF THE SERIES. 



This Series is primarily designed to aid the University Extension 
Movement throughout Great Britain and America, and to supply the 
need so widely felt by students, of Text-books for study and reference, in 
connexion with the authorized Courses of Lectures. 

Volumes dealing with separate sections of Literature, Science, Philo 
sophy, History, and Art have been assigned to representative literary 
men, to University Professors, or to Extension Lecturers connected 
with Oxford, Cambridge, London, and the Universities of Scotland and 
Ireland. 

The Manuals are not intended for purposes of Elementary Education, 
but for students who have made some advance in the subjects dealt with. 
The statement of details is meant to illustrate the working of general 
laws, and the development of principles ; while the historical evolution 
of the subject dealt with is kept in view, along with its philosophical 
significance. 

The remarkable success which has attended University Extension in 
Britain has been partly due to the combination of scientific treatment 
with popularity , and to the union of simplicity with thoroughness. This 
movement, however, can only reach those resident in the larger centres 
of population, while all over the country there are thoughtful persons 
who desire the same kind of teaching. It is for them also that this 
Series i $ designed. Its aim is to supply the general reader with the same 
kind of teaching as\ is given in the Lecttires, and to reflect the spirit 
which has characterized the movement, viz. the combination of principles 
with facts, and of methods with^ results. 

The Manuals are also intended to be contributions to the Literature of 
the Subjects with which they respectively deal, quite apart from University 
Extension ; and- some of them will be found to meet a general rather than 
a special want. 



icments ;,,- 

of 

General Philosophy 



BY GEORGE GROOM ROBERTSON 

LATE GROTE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON 



EDITED FROM NOTES OF LECTURES DELIVERED 
AT THE COLLEGE, 1870-1892 

BY C. A. FOLEY RHYS DAVIDS, M.A. 

SEEN BY 

PRESERVATION 

SERViCtS 

DATE. . . ^iii^^Ll^l 

LONDON 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET 

1896 



A 



Ojforfc 

HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY 



INTRODUCTORY NOTE 



THAT I have been able to compile a second volume of 
lectures delivered by the late George Croom Robertson is 
again due, in the first place, to the kindness of Mr. Charles 
Robertson in placing at my disposal the MS. notes left by 
the professor, and, in the second place, to the ready help 
afforded me, through the loan of their note-books, by those 
students to whom I acknowledged my debt of gratitude in 
the Elements of Psychology, and to whom I here once more 
express my grateful obligation \ Once more, too, I wish to 
record my sense of the benefit derived from the corrections 
and suggestions made by Mr. Charles Robertson and 

1 I append the names of those who contributed materials that I was 
able to use for this manual : George A. Aitken, Esq. ; Rev. Martin 
Anstey, M.A. ; Mrs. Archer Hind (Miss Laura Pocock) ; Mrs. Sophie 
Bryant, D.Sc. : Herman J. Cohen, Esq. ; Professor W. Hall Griffin, 
B.A. ; Rev. Isidore Harris, M.A. ; H. Frank Heath, Esq., B.A., 
Ph.D. ; Rev. Alfred Hills, B.A. ; Principal J. Viriamu Jones, M.A., 
F.R.S. (University College S. Wales and Monmouthshire) ; J. Neville 
Keynes, Esq., M.A., LL.D. ; Benjamin Leverson, Esq., B.A. ; Rev. S. 
Levy, B.A. ; J. W. Manning, Esq., M.A. ; Miss Dorothy Marshall, 
B.Sc. ; Andrew Ogilvie, Esq., B.A. ; Miss Mary Robertson, M.A. ; 
Ernest C. Robinson, Esq., M.A. ; G. Armitage Smith, Esq., M.A. ; 
President J. G. Schurman, M.A., D.Sc. (Cornell University); Rev. 
E. H. Titchmarsh, M.A. ; H. J. Tozer, Esq., M.A. 



viii Introductory Note. 

Mr. Thomas Whittaker when going through the proofs. 
I am also indebted for kind advice and cordial help to 
Professor Knight. 

Excepting the full draft of an Introductory Lecture on 
the History of Philosophy, which has been collated with 
students note-books to form Lectures III- VI, the author s 
own materials have been wrought up almost wholly in 
Part II. For instance, in the concluding three lectures 
on Kant they practically superseded my having recourse to 
reports of college lectures. It so happened that, although 
the professor had more than once had occasion to give 
college lectures on this subject, only one set of notes on 
Kant had come into my hands. 

The first seventeen lectures, presenting a definitely con 
secutive treatment an outline-history of Western philosophy 
(I- VII) and a somewhat closer consideration of the three 
main problems of that philosophy (VIII-XVII) constituted 
the annual elementary course on General Philosophy, or 
Epistemology, delivered in alternation with a course on 
Ethics during May and June. I do not mean that the 
number was always precisely seventeen ; it was usually less. 
The historic outline had sometimes to be dropped or 
transferred to the special courses, while the consideration 
of particular problems was prolonged. I have combined 
both the one and the other in a slightly enlarged course. 
Finally, in the two lectures on Logic and Ethics, I have 
borrowed from the annual courses on those subjects, in 
order that the manual might be enriched by an outline, 
however brief, of the author s practical philosophy. 



Introductory Note. ix 

The special lectures are intended to form a course of 
somewhat more advanced reading, to succeed the study of 
Part I. They were delivered to an inner circle of students, 
small in number, candidates for the most part qualifying 
for the higher London University examinations, assembled 
during the years of the lecturer s declining health at a round 
table in his own house at Notting Hill. The special work 
or works under discussion lay open before each person. 
The professor s utterances took therefore the form rather of 
a running commentary, with here and there a more general 
disquisition, than of a lecture systematically developed. (This 
remark does not, of course, apply to the last three special 
lectures.) Of these running commentaries I have given 
the substance in a more or less condensed form. Thus the 
lecture on Plato s epistemology is a condensation of a course 
of eight conversational discourses on the Theaetetus, Timaeus, 
and part of the Republic (delivered a few months before the 
professor s death). The lecture on Aristotle s Psychology 
is condensed from a like number ; those on Descartes from 
fifteen. There were many such advanced courses given during 
Professor Robertson s long occupancy of the Grote chair. 
They would have been even more varied had it not been 
for the limits in the cycle of philosophical works prescribed 
by the University of London, to which the curriculum 
of University College adapts itself 1 . Limits of space made 

1 No post-Kantian work was prescribed during Robertson s pro 
fessoriate for the examinations in history of philosophy with one 
exception the Metaphysic of Lotze. At that time (1887-88) the pro 
fessor was, alas ! too ill to lecture. 



x Introductory Note. 

it imperative that I should select, and the choice was 
determined less by the nature of my materials than by what 
seems to me to have been a salient standpoint in my master s 
critical philosophy. Holding by an enlightened Experien- 
tialism, he was repelled by the Individualism prevailing 
in experiential doctrine from Locke till the present century. 
Advance in biology has rendered in philosophy, as he says *, 
for ever impossible the older Experientialist position, that 
knowledge, with its objectivity, its universality, its necessity, 
can be acquired by every individual for himself, in the 
course of his own experience, from the beginning. Close 
and sympathetic study of the great Rationalist thinkers, from 
Plato to Kant, enabled him to discern what they, burdened 
by faulty method and the then scanty store of the fruits of 
scientific research, were groping after in their insistence on 
the innate furniture of the mind, namely, the predetermina 
tion, the collective endowment of the individual by the 
race, as a prius to whatever his own experience can teach 
him. Adjusting his own philosophy, on the one hand, to 
take account of every advance in scientific theory, he was 
careful, on the other, to bring out the continuous evolution 
of philosophic thought, history of human error though it 
might be 2 . And he held that the Experientialism even of 
to-day needed to be widened and deepened, not only by 
frankly adopting the evolutionary standpoint, but also by 
being brought face to face at all points with the best teaching 
of Rationalist thought, including especially the critical stand 
points of Kant. Hence it is that I have selected the 
1 See below, p. 152. 2 See below, p. 19. 



Introductory Note. xi 

Cartesian school and the Kritik rather than lectures on 
Bacon, Locke, Hume, and others. 

I need not here repeat what is written in the Elements of 
Psychology by way of apology to the memory of the dead 
philosopher for undertaking a task so heavily fraught with 
responsibility as the editing of these lectures. That re 
sponsibility is but slightly alleviated in the present volume 
by my having had access, in the lectures where it is indicated, 
to more complete MSS. by the author s own hand. The 
task was undertaken in the hope of suggesting to the 
philosophic thought of the generation that has witnessed 
the untimely close of a life just come to philosophic maturity, 
with what generous ardour and constructive thought on 
behalf of the minds he was guiding, that life for a quarter 
of a century had spent itself, and more than spent itself, 
in the ungrateful if noble work of the class-room. At the 
same time, by presenting a part of that work in practically 
its original form, and in availing myself of the opportunity 
afforded me of incorporating it in an educational series, I 
hope no less to serve the interests of the student, standing 
on the threshold of the precincts of philosophy, by making 
him partaker in benefits that the living source so richly 
dispensed. 

If such a student should take up this volume without 
having previously read and re-read the companion manual, 
Elements of Psychology, or some equivalent text-book of 
modern date on the same subject, he is earnestly recom 
mended to lose no time in making good that omission. 
Thus only will he be able to read this volume with the 



xii Introductory Note. 

maximum of profit. It was a fundamental principle with 
Professor Robertson true to the tradition of the British 
School that philosophic considerations, from whatever other 
groundwork they might spring, should not precede, but be 
complementary to, the study of psychology that, in his 
own words, the consideration of how we come to know 
anything should precede that of what it is as known. The 
reader, on the other hand, who has mastered the essential 
data of psychology, and naturally he most of all who 
has acquainted himself therewith as they are ordered by 
the same mind that planned the philosophic arguments 
in the present volume, will have his reward. Especially 
will he see how rich in philosophic import becomes 
that central point in George Croom Robertson s psycho 
logical analysis the theory of objective perception, with 
its vertebral idea of the coefficient, in sense, of conscious 
ness of activity put forth. He will see this point applied, 
again and again, in the explanation of such ultimate notions 
as necessity in knowledge, the conception of substance, the 
idea of causation, and the belief in an external world. And 
he will find effective in suggestiveness, not to say guidance, 
a philosophy thus psychologically based. In that philosophy 
the tradition handed down in this country the school of 
British psychological philosophy attains a distinct develop 
ment. More than its well-known modern exponents, Robert 
son had, in his own phrase, gone to school under Leibniz 
and Kant. And it is with a philosophic grasp and insight 
worthy of these two, while carrying on the direct line of 
succession in the psychological tradition, that he seeks to 



Introductory Note. xiii 

show how it is no mere metaphor to say that the world 
as we know it is as we mentally construct it : that we know 
it not with, as it were, a quasi-detachable intellect only, but 
with our whole living energy; that we know in so far as 
we act, nay, that ultimately, only as we will, as we put forth 
activity, as we act, can we claim fully to be \ 

CAROLINE A. F. RHYS DAVIDS 2 . 
June, 1896. 

1 See below, Lecture XVII. 

2 All footnotes in the lectures, unless the contrary is stated, are 
parenthetical remarks made by the professor himself. The works, or 
passages in works, prescribed for the student s special reading were, 
in nearly every case, those prescribed by the lecturer himself. In 
a few lectures I have given references to books or subjects discussed, 
and also to the lecturer s own published writings. 



CONTENTS 



PART I. 

LECTURE PAGE 

I. THE BOND AND THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PSYCHO 
LOGY AND PHILOSOPHY i 

II. PHILOSOPHY AS EPISTEMOLOGY 10 

III. THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF PHILOSOPHY AND OF 

SCIENCE 17 

IV. HISTORICAL SKETCH OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY . . 24 
V. MEDIAEVAL PHILOSOPHY 37 

- VI. SCHOLASTICISM AND THE RISE OF MODERN SCIENCE 

AND PHILOSOPHY 47 

X VII. MODERN PHILOSOPHY 56 

VIII. UNIVERSALS 68 

IX. UNIVERSALS (continued"), NOMINALISM AND CON- 

CEPTUALISM . , 77 

X. THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE AND 

BELIEF 85 

XL THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. BEFORE LOCKE . 97 

XII. THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. AFTER LOCKE. . 112 

XIII. THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY 124 

XIV. THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. CAUSATION . .135 
XV. THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. EVOLUTION . . 147 

XVI. THE PERCEPTION OF AN EXTERNAL (OR MATERIAL) 

WORLD . 154 

XVII. THE PERCEPTION OF AN EXTERNAL (OR MATERIAL) 

WORLD (continued} 168 

XVIII. REGULATIVE PHILOSOPHICAL DOCTRINE . . .181 
XIX. THE BASIS AND THE END OF ETHICS . . .191 



xvi Contents. 



PART II. 
SPECIAL LECTURES. 

LECTURE PAGE 

XX. ON THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF PLATO . . . .201 

XXI. ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ARISTOTLE . . .214 

XXTI. ON THE METHOD OF DESCARTES . . . .231 

XXIII. ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF DESCARTES . . .244 

XXIV. ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF DESCARTES (continued} . 258 
XXV. ON CARTESIANISM . . ~ . . . .270 

XXVI. ON CARTESIANISM (continued } 287 

XXVII. ON KANT S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY .... 304 

I. Kanfs importance in the present state of English 
thought. 

XXVIII. ON KANT S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY (continued} . 317 

II. General view of the Kritik and the Prolegomena. 

III. Mathematical Necessity and Muscular Sense. 

IV. On the Nature and Conditions of Intellectual 
Synthesis. 

XXIX. ON KANT S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY (continued] . 339 

V. The Ideas of Pure Reason. 



ELEMENTS 

OF 

GENERAL PHILOSOPHY. 

PART I. 
LECTURE I. 

THE BOND AND THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PSYCHOLOGY AND 
PHILOSOPHY. 

General Philosophy as based upon and supplementing Psychology. 
IN these lectures I wish to supplement the preceding 
psychological course in two ways. We found that in the 
process of psychological discussion certain philosophical 
questions were more or less involved. Into these, which 
we then passed by, we will now inquire. Again, our former 
course touched on many purely psychological questions, which 
from our wider philosophic standpoint we may review, 
fill in, and add to. We saw that Philosophy of Mind 
meant Science of Mind, whatever else it might mean. But 
we have also seen that science of mind or psychology does 
not contain all that is meant by philosophy of mind. And 
psychological treatment needs to be supplemented, before 
we can be fully satisfied, by a philosophical consideration of 
the problems of mind. I do not go so far as to say that 
philosophy is nothing more than a review of the problems 
of psychology from another point of view, but it is from this 

B 



2 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

side that I introduce students to philosophy, and it is this 
that I mean by General Philosophy/ We are going to take 
up philosophical questions on a psychological basis. Not that 
we can settle such questions so determinately as those of 
psychology. We can dogmatise in psychology, for we are 
there treating of phenomena ; but we cannot do so in philo 
sophy, where we can no longer distinguish, as we can in 
psychology, between thinker and thought. But it is most 
important for the student to separate from psychology proper 
the philosophical considerations which arise out of that 
science, all the more so that in this country psychology has 
been generally mixed up with philosophy. Mill, Hamilton, 
Professor Bain, Mr. Spencer are apt to confuse both kinds of 
inquiry, so that I am the more concerned that students 
should be fully aware when the aspect is shifted. 

General Philosophy as Theory of Knowledge. 

Ethics, associated with General Philosophy/ is itself a 
department of philosophy. It would be impossible to treat 
of philosophy in general without treating at the same time 
of ethics in particular. And ethics is no part of psychology 
at all. Equally is this true with regard to aesthetics. But 
my intention, during at least the greater part of this course, 
is not to refer to any philosophical questions arising out of 
the psychology of conation or of feeling, but to such as have 
all more or less bearing on knowledge. We see, therefore, 
what part of our psychology it is mainly that we shall 
rehearse, review, and supplement, viz. the psychology of 
intellection. In practical philosophy, i. e. in Logic, Ethics, 
and ^Esthetics, we need to know what functions of the mind it 
is that these doctrines regulate. And if General Philosophy 
is best faced from the point of view of Theory of Knowledge, 



I.] Elements of General Philosophy. 3 

then does philosophy follow rightly from psychology as 
leading from that which appears to that which is, from the 
consideration of how we come to know anything to that of 
what it is as known. 

Kant s followers, including Green, condemn this method 
as involving the use of fundamental assumptions before these 
have been sifted. Then must we indeed begin our sifting 
early, for all use these assumptions with the use of their 
mother tongue, every two-year old as well as every coster- 
monger, though they do not come to the ultimate expression 
thereof. Those writers end by never getting on to psychology 
at all ! It is true, on the other hand, that some English philo 
sophers have been so content with their psychology that they 
have never passed on to philosophy. I see the force of the 
Kantian position ; no scientific basis is ultimate. But 
a scientific basis is the only sound starting-point, and I will 
maintain my view till I get new light. Touching intellect, 
then, we have to make sure of our psychological ground 
and see if we may draw philosophical conclusions. 

Theory of Knowledge distinguishable from Logic. 

Logic, no less than ethics and aesthetics, is a depart 
ment of philosophy and intimately concerned with the 
psychology of intellection. Nevertheless, I propose to mark 
off logic also from our philosophical inquiry, at least for 
the present, and to confine our inquiry to Philosophy as 
Theory of Knowledge in relation to science in general 
and Science of Mind in particular. Logic, like ethics and 
aesthetics, may be called science from a certain point of view ; 
but that is not the point of view I adopt. For me, as I shall 
show later on, they are regulative doctrines or disciplines, or 
Nomology. Logic is regulative discipline of thought. Has 

B 2 



4 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

science in itself anything to do with regulation ? No ; the 
business of science is explanation, or phenomenology. 
Psychology deals with phenomenology of mind, with in 
tellection as it naturally proceeds, with the explanation 
according to natural laws of the intellectual function called 
thinking. That function logic sets itself to regulate. This 
notion of regulation is something which science in no wise 
expresses. It is one of the ways in which we can define the 
function of philosophy. And because thought is a means 
of knowledge, logic in its widest sense is already a part of the 
philosophical Theory of Knowledge. But logic is concerned 
with true thinking or truth. Now, by truth of thought we 
mean that our thought has a certain import, that it is valid. 
Such considerations, namely, as to whether a given intellectual 
act has any real validity or not, are altogether outside 
psychology, though not outside logic. Now, if logic be 
concerned with the validity of thought, let us generalise this, 
and we get a definition of philosophy as theory, not merely 
of the validity of thought, but of the validity of all knowing. 
We can know otherwise than by thought, viz. by perception. 

Ultimate Inquiry its Nature and its Names. 

How am I intellective of that pillar? We resolved my 
act of intellection into certain sensations plus mental activity 
of a definite kind a complex function termed Perception. 
And this was a psychological answer to a psychological inquiry 
an inquiry which may be thus otherwise worded : How 
comes it to pass in my consciousness that I perceive that 
pillar ? But if I ask, Is there a pillar a real one ? 
a real pillar there apart from my perceptive mind ? this is 
a philosophical question, and whatever answer is made 
is a philosophical statement, though it may be determined 



I.] Elements of General Philosophy. 5 

by psychological insight. For we are here asking a question 
relating to the import of knowledge; I am concerned to 
know whether my subjective perception implies a corre 
sponding reality or no. 

Such questions may be raised concerning any intellectual 
function ; they belong to the ultimate questions which the 
human mind is able to raise, and for them is still reserved 
the ancient term Philosophy. If they are raised, as here and 
now, in connexion with intellection or knowing, the more 
specific terms are Theory of Knowledge, Epistemology, or 
Metaphysic. If emphasis is thrown, as it used to be, rather 
on the question of Being than of Being in as far as 
known/ they are, or rather were, expressed by the term 
Ontology. Thus we have got four names which are all 
more or less related to one another, all being the same in 
respect of extension but differing in intension; all denoting 
the same, but having different connotation. Let us enter more 
fully into their meaning and history, and then more clearly 
differentiate what they collectively amount to from modern 
science and psychology. 

Philosophy. 

Philosophy is the oldest term of them all ; first to be 
started, it will probably survive longest. We meet with 
1 philosophy and philosopher in Greek history earlier 
than with the other three. Plato, e. g., uses only these two. 
Philosophy originally stood for reasoned knowledge /;/ 
general; it was not differentiated from science. Human 
knowledge was supposed to be a kind of organic whole, 
and Philosophy was the word for it. But from the time 
of Plato, and still more in that of Aristotle, another word 
began to grow up, viz. Epistemology. And Plato was already 



6 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

commencing to speak of the sciences, though the only 
science which then underwent development was mathematics. 
It is not till the modern period that an antithesis or opposi 
tion is set up between sciences and philosophy. The sciences 
were at first rather departments of philosophy, but from the 
beginning of the seventeenth century mathematics and other 
sciences were pursued in a certain method of their own, and 
regarded apart from anything that may still be called 
philosophy. An ancient philosopher had a complete view 
of the whole field of knowledge. Now, thinkers are mainly 
specialists, knowing little, or but vaguely, of any department 
except their own. The opposition since then has so far 
widened that some modern thinkers have said there is 
nothing beyond science. Comte, e.g. called philosophy 
a co-ordination of the sciences 1 . There is a good deal 
called philosophy beyond that; at all events, whereas 
philosophy originally meant all reasoned knowledge, it has 
now come to mean reasoned knowledge no less, but of 
a kind that stands apart from certain limited bodies of 
doctrine pursued according to a strictly definite method 
called that of the sciences, and apart from psychology too, 
because in respect of method psychology is as much science 
as chemistry is. 

Philosophy as Wisdom. 

Again, all ancient knowledge was bent to a practical issue. 
This is the specific mark of what was originally called 
philosophy. Philosophy is love of wisdom/ and wisdom 
is a term of practical import, is knowledge with a practical 
reference ; is not mere insight, but conduct guided by 
insight. And still our concern in ultimate questions has 

1 V. Positive Philosophy, Bk. VI, ch. xiii. 



I.] Elements of General Philosophy. 7 

a more or less practical object an object which we cal 1 
the wise conduct of life. But this aspect of philosophy 
is not found in modern science. Science as such leaves 
aside practical considerations. It has reached its present 
development during the last three centuries by such elimina 
tion and specialisation. As long as men could and would 
think about everything they made little advance. 

Metaphysic. 

The term Metaphysic in this country and in Germany 
has been loosely used. It is often used as indistinguishable 
from psychology itself; e. g. in Hamilton s Lectures on Meta 
physics, five-sixths of which are psychological, the remainder 
philosophical, and in which he passes without warning from 
psychology into pure philosophy. Professor Bain speaks of 
mental science and sometimes of psychology, but there is 
a goodly amount of philosophy too in his Manual, certain 
chapters and much in the historical notes being as philo 
sophical as can be. 

Metaphysic also, as a name, has an accidental origin. 
Aristotle did not use the term, and yet the term has grown 
out of Aristotle s works. He left, in addition to his treatises 
on life, mind or soul, and the treatise called Physica, 
another work dealing with what he sometimes calls First 
Philosophy, with the notion of fundamental/ and at other 
times being as being (TO ov &/), in fact, Ontology. The 
precise word ontologia is not found there, yet all is there but 
the word. His editors and commentators placed this treatise 
after the Physica, and called it so (TO. /xera TO. $uo-i/ca), although 
the author had called it first philosophy/ No sooner had the 
name arisen than it underwent a change of meaning, and 
stood, not for what followed after the Physica, but for 



8 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 



a consideration of things ftera, beyond/ the physical con 
sideration of them. There was little that was scientific in 
Aristotle s physical consideration of things, but in time 
physics came to be handled from a purely scientific stand 
point, while metaphysics represented a standpoint reaching 
beyond this, and thus we get the notion of metaphysic as 
opposed to science and equal to philosophy. And by 
those who were impressed by the characteristic difference 
between Mind and Nature/ metaphysic was supposed to 
be specially concerned with Mind, as physic was with 

Nature. 

Ontology. 

Ontology, then, though not used by Aristotle, is at the 
point of his pen to be written down. We may, as I have 
said, look upon it as another name for philosophy, when 
concerned with things as being/ Is science concerned 
with things that are ? In one sense, yes. The difference 
is this, that in opposing ontology to science as concerned 
with being/ the antithesis (which has become perfectly 
clear to the modern mind) lies in science dealing with 
things, not so much as they are, but as they appear or 
seem to be with things qua phenomena. Psychology, 
e. g. deals with mind only as phenomenal. In this century 
some who have pursued the study of mind scientifically 
have tried to prove that there is no ulterior consideration ; 
e.g. the Mills and Professor Bain. They discount ontology 
as a doctrine that has only led men astray and has been 
superseded. Ontological questions may be difficult or im 
possible to solve, but no human mind that works fairly can 
exclude ontological any more than phenomenal questions. 
Some opponents of ontology try to escape the difficulty by 
making phenomena into realities. 



I.] Elements of General Philosophy. 9 

Epistemology. 

Epistemology, a term which has come into use within the 
last few years, expresses what in Germany is called theory 
or doctrine of knowledge, philosophical theory being under 
stood. The notion was put forward by Kant and his 
followers in opposition to ontology, and to maintain that the 
right \vay to deal with ultimate questions of being is to make 
a prior philosophical inquiry into the import of knoiuled^e. 
How is this, in respect of extension, commensurate with 
ontology or metaphysic ? How can the doctrine which 
deals with things as they are, be also expressed as episte- 
mology? Anything that is, can be, for us, only as it is 
known. If we do not know of any being, it does not exist 
for us. Therefore he who provides an ultimate theory of 
knowledge, in that very fact provides an ultimate theory of 
being. I am not now speaking of a consideration of how 
knowledge arises and comes to pass, for that is psychology, 
but of a certain ultimate consideration of knowledge as such, 
and which cannot but be a consideration of things as known, 
and therefore of things as being, or real. And this is the 
point of view from which philosophy has more and more 
come to be presented in modern times. Implicitly already 
in Locke, but explicitly, with full consciousness, in Kant, 
modern philosophy has come to be epistemology, as in 
Aristotle it was ontology. 



Passages for reading : 

N.B. The lecturer used to urge students not to omit to supplement 
LECTURE I by reading his essay Psychology and Philosophy, Mind, 
January, 1883 (or Philosophical Remains, pp. 250-273). ED. 



LECTURE II. 

PHILOSOPHY AS EPISTEMOLOGY. 

Aspects of Philosophy and their Opposites. 

LAST day I sought to give a first notion of the distinction 
between science and philosophy, and more especially between 
psychology and philosophy. But it was only a first distinc 
tion, and one that I shall fill up. in the ensuing lectures. When 
we turned to consider philosophy as such, we encountered 
a series of terms, each having a special connotation, but all 
pointing to the same, all denoting the same kind of doctrine, 
but in different ways. And these we have to a certain 
extent discussed by, in some degree, denoting the opposite 
in each case. Everything may to a certain extent be defined 
by denoting what it excludes. In the way of knowing, every 
thing illustrates the principle of relativity (v. infra, Lecture 
XVI). When we know anything we know something that 
it is and something that it is not. I have not said all that 
philosophy is when I say what it is not, but I have said 
something very important when I say, for instance, that 
philosophy is not science. Philosophy has its meaning in 
relation to the sciences, but it excludes every science. Meta 
physics is not physics, understanding physics in the widest 
sense as science of nature, or of natural phenomena generally. 



Elements of General Philosophy. n 

Ontology excludes phenomenology. We may tabulate these 
opposites thus : 

Metaphysics Physics. 

Philosophy Science. 

Ontology Phenomenology. 

Distinction between Epistemology and Psychology. 

Now I cannot give an equally sharp antithesis in the 
case of Epistemology. But we may oppose it to ontology 
on the one side, and to psychology on the other. Psychology 
is not theory of knowledge, but theory of mental phenomena, 
that is, of knowing or intellection, as well as of feeling and 
conation. Again, ontology is not theory of knowledge, but 
of being. Epistemology brings forward what ontology does 
not bring forward, viz. the subjective reference which is 
always implied in philosophy as opposed to science. There 
is no subjective reference in science. One ball, e. g. strikes 
another, and they move. With this and the like physics is 
concerned, but there is neither overt nor covert, patent nor 
latent, subjective reference. Even in psychology there is 
not the subjective reference there is in philosophy. Psy 
chology is subjective, not because you make reference to 
the mind knowing, but because it is concerned with the 
subjective phenomena themselves. It investigates the knowing 
mind not otherwise than as physics investigates the colliding 
of the balls ; it leaves out of account the knowing mind as 
such, although it is true that psychology, as concerned with 
subjective phenomena, stands, as. we have seen, opposed to 
all other sciences. As subjective science, we saw that it 
faces all the other sciences as objective, and even faces itself 
as objective. But the subjective consideration which philo 
sophy invariably involves is not in the way of psychological 



12 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

science, but is a view of things in relation to, or from the 
point of view of, mind. Psychology is a scientific con 
sideration of mental phenomena taken as subjectively, and 
to a certain extent also as objectively, manifested. Philo 
sophy is not a scientific consideration, but is a consideration 
of anything and everything in relation to mind. And the 
name which best expresses philosophy in the fact of its 
mental or subjective reference is Epistemology. Epistemo- 
logy is just philosophy, deals with things, deals with being, 
deals with things going beyond bare experience; but it 
treats of them in relation to the fact of knowing. Thus the 
epistemologist cannot help being an ontologist, because his 
theory of knowledge must be about things also as being; 
he must also be a metaphysician, because he is concerned 
with a whole range of things beyond the physical ; and he 
must be a philosopher in being other and more than a man 
of science, or concerned with things in a way in which science 
is not. Epistemology as theory of knowing is as wide as 
philosophy, since for us nothing can be that we cannot know. 
And while it is philosophy and not science, the special science 
to which it stands in closest relation is psychology, and, within 
psychology, the psychological theory of intellection. It 
does not do that work over again which was done in the 
theory of intellection. It is not concerned, as that is, with 
the rise, growth, and development of intellectual consciousness. 
What Epistemology does apart from this is to inquire 
into the value, import, validity, of knowledge. These notions 
have no meaning in psychology. We distinguish between 
desires as good and bad, but not as psychologists. As 
such we are merely concerned with the fact of desire. To 
determine between desires as good or bad is a matter for 
the philosophical doctrine of ethics. 



IL] Elements of General Philosophy. 13 

Distinction between Logic and Epistemology 1 . 
There is indeed, as we saw last day, another philosophical 
doctrine concerned with the import or validity of our in 
tellectual consciousness, namely, Logic. Some writers use 
the term Logic as equivalent to Theory of Knowledge, but 
such a practice is confusing. Hegel, e. g., in his Logic, sets 
out a theory of the validity of knowing of any kind. 
Professor Adamson s article on Logic in the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica includes the whole field of the validity of know 
ledge. Mill s chapter On the Things denoted by Names 
(Logic, Bk. I, ch. iii.) has nothing to do with logic, but is 
a discourse on theory of knowledge. But, as I pointed out, 
epistemology is the wider consideration, and may be viewed 
as including logic. And the special line of consideration 
in each is different. Logic is the doctrine regulative of 
thought. Epistemology is concerned with the validity of 
any cognition whatever, e. g., with percept, which is not 
thought. Again, logic is concerned with the import of 
thought as general, whether the form of thought be inductive 
(from particular to general) or deductive (from the more to 
the less general). And logic is concerned with the import 
of thought only in so far as it is general. I do not know 
a single part of logical doctrine which is not concerned with 
generality, with leading up to it by induction, or down from 
it by deduction. But the generality of thought does not 
exhaust the import of thought. Thought, though it is 
general, is thought about something. What is this some 
thing that is thought about? So there is plenty left for 
epistemology in regard to thought. And in putting logic 
under epistemology, I have not said that logic exhausts 
the consideration of thought. 

1 This is a point not clearly answered in the books. 



14 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Suppose I ask, in regard, e. g. to that pillar, Does my per 
ception of that pillar mean, or not mean, a pillar really apart 
from me ? This is a real question, but, as we have already 
seen 1 , it is not a psychological question. It is a philo 
sophical question that I have asked, a metaphysical, an 
ontological, and an epistemological question. As with 
percepts, so with images and concepts. Does my con 
cept man stand for a reality ? What, if any, real thing 
corresponds to my thought man ? Such a question is 
neither psychological nor logical. Logically we can ask, Is 
man a general name or not ? What is the definition of it ? 
Logic, with regard to concepts, culminates in the doctrine 
of definition. But when I have defined a notion, have 
I proved anything of its reality? Does my thought of 
centaur portend or imply a reality as my thought of < man 
does ? In this way, then, we can distinguish between what 
is called logical, and what epistemological, consideration. 
And thus if logic in one sense falls within epistemology, 
it is not the epistemology of thought, inasmuch as there 
are epistemological considerations of thought apart from 
the logical consideration of thought in its generality. 

Knowledge. 

We have now committed ourselves to the use of the 
word knowledge/ a term I refrained from bringing forward 
in psychology. It is used, no doubt, in psychological works ; 
Hamilton, among others, uses it systematically, and so does 
Professor Bain, cognition being an equivalent term. Both 
terms, if used in psychology at all, should be used systemati 
cally and apart from any consideration of import, or else be 

1 Elements of Psychology , Lecture XIV, 



ii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 15 

abstained from. The latter plan to me seems better, and 
I substitute the term intellection. Intellection is a purely 
psychological word, meaning merely a kind of conscious 
experience, just as feeling means another such kind, and 
conation another. Knowledge, on the other hand, is essen 
tially a word of philosophical, rather than psychological, 
import. Both it and cognition, as I have already pointed 
out (op. cit., p. 25), drag in at once the known or cognitum, 
with its implication of import, validity, or reality. Knowledge 
is always of something, and of something as being, as real 
or not real, as the case may be. At once the philosophical 
question arises Does my knowledge really represent such 
and such an object ? Is the object real ? And this is not 
a psychological consideration. In psychology we consider 
cognition apart from the notion of import ; we ask, How 
does cognition come to pass? not Does it mean this? 
Does it import that? It is true that when we are dealing 
with perception in psychology, perceiving implies something 
perceived; but we are then only concerned with the function 
of perceiving. But now we are concerned with the work of 
the mind in relation to the thing known. The moment we 
look beyond subjective function to the reality with which 
the function is concerned, we are no longer psychologising, 
we are not even concerned with the question of import in 
the narrow sense of logic, but we are concerned with import 
of knowledge altogether. Knowledge in relation to the thing 
known, or the thing known in relation to knowledge, belongs 
to philosophy. In philosophy it is precisely with the object 
of thought and its validity or import that we have to deal 
object and valid understood as that which holds for all 
minds alike and determines action. 



16 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Belief. 

While knowledge is thus properly to be limited to philo 
sophical use, there is another word, of essentially subjective 
import, which psychology has to take into account if it is to 
be complete, but which has also a prominently philosophical 
bearing. As when I use the word know there is always an 
object of knowledge, so when I believe there is an object of 
belief. Knowledge is subjective function in relation to an 
object. Belief is subjective function in relation to an object. 
I can raise the question of reality in belief as much as in 
knowledge. No alternative term for belief being available 
according as we are psychologising or philosophising, its 
difference of signification must in either case be carefully 
distinguished. Generally it is well to use separate terms 
for either aspect, as this will tend to break the habit of 
mixing up the different considerations. The scope of (sub 
jective) psychology is as wide as that of philosophy, but 
its function is different. The former deals with everything 
that is as subjective experience. The latter deals with 
everything that is in terms of ultimate consideration. Philo 
sophy, again, is always interpretable as Philosophy of Mind. 
Whether it is contemplated as a consideration of things as 
known (facts), or desired and sought after (aims, ends, ideals), 
or as science of ^mg-as -thought- of, there is, we see, always 
ultimately a reference to the human mind. It can only deal 
with things as we are conscious of them. This is the ex 
planation of their being so much confused together, and why 
psychology was so late in being separated from philosophy. 



LECTURE III. 

THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF PHILOSOPHY AND OF SCIENCE. 
Resume of the Function of Philosophy as compared with Science. 

WE have seen that out of psychology arise certain further 
questions or more ultimate considerations called philosophical. 
Psychology suggests them more than any other science. 
They do not admit of objective verification, but have a 
subjective value, and the historical study of them is important 
as giving insight into the development of the human mind. 
In as far as they may be settled at all, they may be settled 
by psychology, hence the importance of the latter as a basis 
to precede and introduce the study of philosophy. If 
philosophy, e.g. seeks to show what the external world z>, 
psychology explains how we get to know what we call 
external world/ Science deals not with what is, but only with 
what appears, with those phenomenal aspects of nature which 
inevitably suggest I do not commit myself some ultimate 
Reality. Theory of Knowledge (to which metaphysic and 
ontology are now subordinated), or philosophy in its 
speculative or theoretical aspect, has to afford insight^ while 
philosophy in its practical aspect makes for guidance. 

Philosophical questionings, I repeat, are not of a nature 
to lead to definitely verifiable results. Nevertheless, philoso- 

c 



1 8 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

phising is natural to the human mind, and, as of old, so now, 
such questions are asked, and will for ever be asked. And 
there must be a doctrine to cover and deal with these 
questions questions concerning notions which science is 
obliged to assume. Philosophy in modern times, as we have 
seen, is supplementary to, and in no sense another name 
for, the sciences. Comte indeed said that the business of 
philosophy is to make out the relation between the sciences. 
The sciences are occupied each with certain aspects or 
departments of nature, or of things as they appear \ Co 
ordinate each science/ said Comte, and give it a practical 
bearing, a reference to human action, and that is all that 
you can know or philosophy can do. Comte here brings 
insight to bear upon action, and so far returns to the original 
meaning of philosophy. But his opinion of the scope of 
philosophy is very unsatisfactory in view of the incapacity 
of the sciences to deal with questions respecting their ultimate 
data and the ends of conduct. What is the difference 
between appearance and reality? What is space (does it 
exist apart from the human mind) ? What is motion ? What 
is a cause ? What is a quality ? and what is a thing ? None 
of the sciences pretends to answer these questions, and yet 
they are implied in the language both of science and of 
common life. Philosophy in past ages dealt largely with these 
questions before the sciences were, and still concerns itself 
with them. Aristotle saw the necessity for a deeper inquiry 
just as much as we do. It is the word deeper/ ultimate/ 
that gives the special aspect of metaphysic as the name for 
philosophy in its relation, not to psychology, but to the 
objective sciences. 

1 Or, we might say, with aspects of nature and with mathematics, 
for mathematics is not a science of nature. 



IIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 19 

And the deeper inquiry is not antagonistic to the scientific. 
It is often brought against philosophy that it presents motion 
without progress, but this is not correct; there has been 
progress. History is for the most part the story of the errors 
through which men have passed in trying to get at the truth, 
and the history of philosophy, if good for nothing else, 
would yet be valuable for what it reveals of the growth of the 
human mind in its deepest thought respecting itself confronted 
by the universe. For all their many errors the best minds 
of antiquity struck out philosophical suggestions of great 
value, arrived at philosophical results of permanent value, 
even though their positive science was often purely fanciful. 
On many points we understand more than the ancients, and 
many of their errors have been exploded beyond chance 
of revival. There is, and always will be, room for advance 
in philosophy. In as far as philosophy has the function 
of co-ordinating the results of the special sciences and it 
has become more and more the object of philosophy to do so 
there must of course be advance in the former as the latter 
advance, as Comte held. But if we also take philosophy as 
theory of human knowledge, we still understand more than 
the earlier thinkers, although our progress be not of the 
nature of that in the positive sciences. Philosophy in one 
sense encircles, extends beyond, comes after the sciences, 
varying as they vary, but in another sense it comes before 
them. It was not necessary to know that the sun stands 
and the earth moves in order to understand the relation of 
substance and attribute, whole and parts, &c. True, the 
discovery of those facts had a most important philosophical 
bearing, as all great discoveries will ever have ; namely, with 
respect to the evidence of sense and man s position in the 
universe. But there was a region of philosophy not directly 

C 2 



20 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

touched by scientific discoveries, and we may find a profit 
in surveying these philosophies, even though Aristotle and 
Plato had a defective astronomy. It is one function of 
philosophy to wait on the special sciences, and to be ever 
ready to pluck up its stakes and widen its boundaries. For 
philosophical and scientific definitions are always changing; 
they are a progress towards the expression of what is. But 
it is also apparent that to a certain extent philosophy has 
an independent course to pursue, and has often to make 
advances, and did often arrive at truths about the whole 
frame of things before men developed those aptitudes and 
powers from which has sprung all modern science. 

History in Philosophy and in Science. 

The history of philosophy has an importance in relation 
to philosophy which the history of science has not to science. 
However interesting it may be to compare present with past 
conceptions of geology, ancient with modern physics, these 
and all the sciences are adequately taught as bodies 
of established doctrine without necessarily involving any 
reference to past theories ; at any rate, their teaching does 
not at all depend upon knowledge of their history. False 
scientific teachings have to be forgotten; inadequate 
scientific teachings, while leading to better, need not be 
remembered. Interest in them is mainly antiquarian. Or 
if it is not felt for the teachings as such, but for them as 
illustrative of scientific method, this is to have taken them 
out of the special sciences and to have brought them into 
the domain of philosophy, which has a property in the older 
forms, the cast-off garments of the sciences which these no 
longer possess for themselves. On the other hand, philo 
sophers of all schools are for ever throwing backward glances 



IIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 21 

at past thinkers and the results they elicited. The history 
of philosophy is a recognised part of philosophic discipline. 
The reason for this difference from what we find in science 
lies in the nature of philosophy, in its being always concerned 
with ultimate, not with immediate, explanation, not with ways 
of re-expressing the facts of nature, or giving an explanation 
of them relative to other and more general facts or concep 
tions resolving sound, e.g. into a mode of motion but 
with the explanation that is demanded with reference to the 
mental nature of man, to man, i. e. as a thinking being. 

In chemistry, e.g. we analyse water into its elements, 
study their properties, and re-combine. We have thereby 
given a scientific account of water in so far as it falls under 
chemistry. The mechanical properties of water would be 
the subject of investigation under another science, and so 
on for every conceivable relation of water as an object 
among other natural objects. But onr intellectual concern 
in it as thinking beings is not even then exhausted. It is 
an object, we say, a substance, a property what are these ? 
What is analysis, and what composition ? Empirical science 
does not settle these questions, and does not even tell us 
when they cannot be settled. I should say the decision is 
given by philosophy as the ultimate interpretation of experi 
ence, even in cases where the decision is nothing more 
satisfactory than a non liquet. 

The answer, whatever it be, should hold good universally. 
The question of substance and attribute, e.g. was raised in 
regard to water : the settlement, such as it is, applies to the 
whole of nature. In one aspect, however, this peculiarity 
of philosophy is merely a difference in degree. All science, 
worthy of the name, is also general in its character. To 
make good, therefore, the opposition between philosophy and 



22 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the special sciences, the extraordinary universality of philo 
sophic dicta must rest on a special ground, and that is that, 
whereas in the special sciences we consider relations among 
facts and data known, in philosophy we consider facts, data 
and relations as known or knowable. Now whatever be the 
objects known, though they be taken from sciences the most 
widely removed, anything that we settle about the knowing 
of them must stand good for all alike. The principles of 
knowledge are of constant and universal application; and 
philosophy is pre-eminently the science of them and all that 
they involve. 

But if such be the character of philosophy, we may now 
begin to see why it is natural and right that the philosopher 
should keep strict account of older speculation, and would 
err if he neglected it. 

Procedure. 

Now, seeing the importance of the historical method in 
philosophy, and how greatly the thoughts of men have 
varied with regard to ultimate questions, it is better that 
I should glance over the history of such thoughts, and set 
out the views of the best minds throughout time, than give 
only my own individual conclusions. 

For our practical purposes we discount Eastern thought, 
and also that of the earliest civilisations generally, confining 
ourselves to the Western philosophy which began among 
Greek thinkers on the coast of Asia Minor B.C. 600, but 
dealing more at length with those philosophical conceptions 
of the seventeenth century which appeal more deeply to us 
than those of Plato and Aristotle, as being more akin to our 
own. When we take a view of the history of philosophy, we 
find that philosophical thinkers have been occupied in the 
main with three questions : 



IIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 23 

1. The question of Universals i.e. of the relation of the 
Universal to the Particular known also as the doctrine 
of the One and the Many. This is predominant in the 
Scholastic period, and was also prominent in the Ancient 
period. 

2. The Relation of Reason to Experience, in explaining 
the Nature or Import of Knowledge. This dominates all 
modern philosophy. 

3. The Reality of a Material World, or Perception of an 
External World, and the Nature of Mind in relation to it. 
This has been raised especially by British philosophers. 

Every philosophy deals with each, but with a different 
degree of emphasis. Hamilton divides philosophers according 
to their answer to the third question ; hence his view of the 
earlier philosophers is distorted, since they were really 
concerned with the larger question of the nature, or origin, 
or, more correctly, import of knowledge, in which the more 
special third question is involved. This shows that he is so 
engrossed in that particular question that he thinks every 
one else must have been so. He derived this standpoint 
from his master, Reid ; and Reid s standpoint was a protest 
against that of Berkeley. The answer to any one of the 
questions will determine a man s answer to either of the others. 

But we must first take a survey in outline of the growth 
of Western philosophy during the last 2,500 years. 



For LECTURE IV read : 

G. C. Robertson, Philosophical Remains, Philosophy as a Subject 
of Study. 

Ueberweg, History of Philosophy, vol. i, The Philosophy of 
Antiquity (large text). 

Or the same epoch in Erdmann s or Schwegler s History of 
Philosophy. 



LECTURE IV. 

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF GREEK PHILOSOPHY. 
Main Epochs of Philosophy and Culminating Periods. 

WESTERN philosophy may be said to have begun with Thales, 
B.C. 600. Thus we have to take account of 2,500 years of 
constant reflective thinking. These are grouped in three 
main periods (i) Ancient; (2) Mediaeval, Scholastic, or 
Ecclesiastic ; (3) Modern. The first period terminates in 
the sixth century A.D., and the second in the fourteenth 
century. Of all these centuries only about seven or eight 
are really important. The times in which the human race 
was really effectively thinking were not long, and all the 
effective thought in Western philosophy, all that has yielded 
permanent results of any value, falls within three epochs, 
included by those three main periods and comprising some 
seven hundred years out of the 2,500, to wit, B.C. 450-250, 
A.D. 1150-1350, and from 1600 onwards. The rest is all of 
quite subordinate importance. It might be even more accurate 
to end the first period of florescence at B.C. 300, but I extend 
it by preference so as to include Stoics and Epicureans. 
The accompanying diagram shows at once the three main 
periods and their respective culminating epochs. It will be 
seen that the former overlap considerably ; no sharp divisions 
in time would accurately represent the different developments 
of thought. There is the more or less positive break entitled 



< 



m 



\ 3 
i 8 

1 1 

m 



c o 

S CU 



, C 





26 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the Dark Ages ; there is the transition period of the fifteenth 
century ; again, there are the two subsidiary movements of 
the rise of Arabian philosophy (A.D. 800-1100) and, under its 
influence, of Jewish philosophy. These, however, did not 
affect modern Europe in general. 

First, Ancient J or Greek Period. 

Western philosophy did not absolutely begin with Thales. 
There was a tendency to philosophy among all the early 
civilisations bordering on the East of which we have remains. 
But it is principally in Thales and the inquisitive, quick-witted 
Ionian Greeks, dating from about B.C. 600, that there began 
in Asia Minor that conscious and disinterested search for an 
explanation of the All which philosophy implies. For five 
hundred years this movement, continuous though not always 
progressive, was Greek. Then into the philosophy of practice 
Roman legal conceptions, the spiritual fruit of centuries of 
sturdy Roman action, began to be introduced ; Hebrew and 
Eastern ideas of the universal order and of human destiny 
also entered ; but Greek acuteness and mental restlessness re 
mained always the truly active forces till another five hundred 
years and more had elapsed. Finally, in A.D. 529, Justinian, 
a Christian emperor, closed the pagan Greek schools and 
cast out the professors and commentators with whom re 
mained the tradition of Aristotle and Plato. Within these 
centuries Greek thinkers had put forward solutions of nearly 
all the chief questions of philosophy, some necessarily 
relative to the positive knowledge of the time, which now 
appeal only to our curiosity, others of enduring value to the 
end of time. In the history of humanity there is nothing 
more astounding than the influence exerted by the thought 
of Plato and Aristotle. Justinian and his advisers fancied 



iv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 27 

they had cast out the evil spirits ; but the spirits came back 
from wandering up and down on the earth and entered with 
sevenfold power into the Church and the schools, and it was 
and is vain to think any more of a new exorcism. 

Two Stages in Greek Philosophy. 

Greek thought was strictly philosophy a serious attempt 
to think out a connected view of the All. In those Ionian 
cities on the shores of Asia Minor arose men who, looking 
out on nature, i.e. the external world, tried to find a general 
expression for it. Their philosophy was not properly reli 
gion. Some of the chief among them had religious natures, 
but the central idea of Greek philosophy, as represented by 
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and Epicureans, which 
is one of morality and conduct, is not found in that Pre- 
Socratic period. After it all reasoned knowledge came to be 
viewed by the best Greek philosophers as bearing on the 
Perfect Life. Philosophy became divorced completely from 
inquiries into what are now considered the ultimate assump 
tions of physical science. But prior to the fifth century B.C. 
there is no explicit reference to the subjective life; till 
towards the age of Socrates truere is no systematic practice 
of introspection now held fundamental in philosophy. 

Greek Philosophy and Positive Science. 

In the theories of Democritus, however, a contemporary of 
Socrates, but whom we know only at second hand through 
Aristotle, Epicurus and Lucretius, there are expressions 
with regard to nature of which modern science has made 
use. He started the theory of Atomism, i.e. that the 
material world consists of a multiplicity of atoms or inde 
structible particles. The mechanical philosophy of the 



28 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

seventeenth century has, in some respects, a close affinity to 
the Atomism of Democritus. It is a great pity that Socrates 
treated this definite scientific theory with scorn. Democritus 
and Archimedes (B.C. 287-213) come nearest to modern 
science of all the ancients. But they had no immediate 
successors. 

The Sophists and Socrates. 

At the time of Socrates, Greek civilisation was at its 
height. The Sophists were then teaching the art of rhetoric 
and the conduct of public business, as well as professing to 
teach men conduct in general on a rather superficial basis. 
They have been much decried, but have found a modern 
defender in Grote, and the older conception of them as mere 
charlatans has now passed away. 

Contemporary with them lived a man, himself called a 
Sophist, a citizen of Athens all his life, who there tried to 
expose them and turn away his fellow-citizens from following 
their teaching I mean, of course, Socrates (469-399). 
Socrates distinctly discountenanced the investigation of the 
physical universe. He first, in the West, put himself at the 
subjective point of view, and taught that the proper study 
of mankind was Man. 

Plato and Aristotle. 

His pupil Plato (427-347) took up his standpoint, putting 
himself at the subjective point of view without regard for 
knowledge of external nature or science. He carried farther 
than any one after him the method of thinking by way of 
rational or reasoned speculation, and has ever stood, in con 
sequence, as the typical representative of (Platonic) IDEALISM. 
His system might be called a depreciation of sense and a 
glorification of reason. 



iv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 29 

Aristotle (384-322), pupil of Plato, distinctly philosophises 
from a subjective point of view, is a mental philosopher. 
As with Socrates and Plato, his philosophy leads up to 
conduct of life. But with regard to nature, he is of a 
different disposition from Plato, being interested just in 
that matter which Plato despised. Hence his system in 
cludes not only a physical philosophy of nature, but also 
a descriptive, if not explanatory, science of nature; e.g. he 
wrote long treatises on the animal world. Nevertheless, his 
views of nature are mainly superficial, and his so-called 
science of nature is mainly speculative, and takes no account 
of the necessity for verification. His interest in man and 
nature is ultimately only with a view to human conduct. 

Epicurus and Zeno. 

This is also the predominant idea with the Stoics and 
the Epicureans. In the moral character of their philosophy 
they are at one with the Socratics, as well as in that they 
seek to determine human conduct from a view of conformity 
to (human) nature/ They differ from Plato and Aristotle in 
flying less high in rational speculation. There are begin 
nings in their works of sober psychological inquiry. They 
are Materialists of a very extreme type. Yet neither school 
did anything to advance positive science. Down to B.C. 250, 
which covers Epicurus and the more important Greek 
Stoics, there are no new philosophic ideas introduced, but 
we find an overpowering interest in human conduct. Both 
the Platonic school (the Academics) and the Aristotelian (the 
Peripatetics) were for a time overshadowed by them, greatly 
though the influence of both Plato and Aristotle had worked 
in Stoicism as in Epicureanism. Zeno and Epicurus both 
were influenced by Aristotle ; Epicurus in his ethical philo- 



3 



Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 



sophy was largely connected with Plato. By his natural 
philosophy, Epicurus is also connected with Democritus. 
The Cynics and Cyrenaics connect Zeno and Epicurus respec 
tively with Socrates. They began their work at a time when 
the energy of Greek thought had in a manner spent itself, 
and when, in consequence of political disintegration, men s 
thoughts began to be turned to individual conduct and quiet 
life. Hence the relatively greater importance of their ethical 
theories. 

All the effective thinking of Greek philosophy was the 
work of these few men, and they are the founders of all the 
Greek schools of thought. We may see this more clearly in 
diagram. 



SOCRATES DEMOCRITUS 
(B.C. 469-399) (b. 460) 


ro \ PLATO 
^~, V437-347) 

*?j *" 


\ 

TOTLE * X 

-322) 


x 


^ " ". ARIS 
(384 
j \ 

i 


F - 


II 

6 i 


*(34!-7o) (35 Z ^ 58) 

(95-52; (fl > A . D . Q _u8) 

M. Aurelius 
(120-180) 



Plotinus 
(A.D. 205-269) 

i / 

Porphyry 

(233 304) 



/ 



Proclus 
(412-485) 



iv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 31 

Pre-Socratic and Platonic Thought. 

Let us now, before coming to the Christian era, retrace our 
steps and bring the Pre-Socratic philosophy into some sort of 
relation with the teachings of Plato and Aristotle. 

We see it during those two centuries preceding Socrates 
active, acute, but slow in development, a movement of great 
comprehensiveness and variety, and of remarkable philosophic 
depth. Yet some of what are to us the simplest conceptions 
were then not attained, and it is only with Socrates and 
Plato that philosophy begins to be to some extent modern. 
Scantiness of surviving materials and a general lack of 
philosophic development justify a somewhat summary treat 
ment. Yet some of their thinking was important for Plato 
and even for us. There were six Pre-Socratics who most 
strongly influenced Plato 

HERACLEITUS, the Ionian,^/?, about B.C. 504. 

PARMENIDES, of Elea, Magna Graecia,^?. about B.C. 504. 1 

ANAXAGORAS, of Clazomenae, B.C. 500-428. 

PYTHAGORAS, of Samos and Magna Grsecia, B.C. 575-500. 

DEMOCRITUS, of Abdera, b. B.C. 460. 

PROTAGORAS, chief of the Sophists, B.C. 480-411. 

The problem- of knowledge as it presented itself to Plato 
was an effort to transcend and get over the antithesis between 
the views of the first two. The other thinkers as well as 
Socrates gave him suggestions towards overcoming this 
opposition. Of these, the Pythagoreans are of the least 
importance. Their influence only became prominent, as 
expressed by one of them, Philolaus, at the time when 
Plato s theory of ideas was undergoing its later development. 

1 According to Mr. Burnet (Early Greek Philosophy, 70) this date 
is too early by at least thirty years. ED. 



32 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

The Pythagorean was the most enduring of the Pre-Socratic 
schools. 

Plato never mentions Democritus by name, but it is 
probably to this great contemporary he refers as representing 
Materialism, when setting out in conscious antithesis his own 
Immaterialism. Democritus, living at Abdera, never came 
under the influence of Socrates. Anticipated by Leucippus 
early in the fifth century, he worked out his system from the 
basis of the earlier thinkers. He is the proper antithesis 
to Plato. Plato s philosophy is ideological founded on final 
causes, the ethical element being uppermost. Democritus 
philosophy is mechanical, and was the first to be developed 
as such. His importance by the side of Plato was first 
recognised by Lange (in his History of Materialism}, who 
holds him to be the more important thinker of the two, in 
so far that modern scientific theory joins on to him more 
than on to Plato, whose views are largely discredited. His 
very prolific works are mostly lost. 

The antithesis between Heracleitus and Parmenides was 
metaphysical rather than epistemological. Their philosophy, 
as with all Pre-Socratics, was cosmological, nevertheless it is 
epistemological also. All tried to find some simpler expres 
sion of the complex experience of daily life, but Heracleitus 
and Parmenides had a novel and deeper insight. Though 
Heracleitus adduced fire as a fundamental principle, it is 
the fact of ceaseless Change or Motion in nature that strikes 
him navra peT. Parmenides was struck by Permanence and 
Fixity in nature. The latter emphasised the One, the 
former saw chiefly the Many. Thus Heracleitus had to 
reconcile with his theory the apparent fixity of things; 
Parmenides had to make the apparent change in things 
square with his. Heracleitus accounted better for fixity 



iv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 33 

than Parmenides did for change. Both views were of interest 
to Plato. 

Anaxagoras introduced a new principle as determining 
universal being, viz. vovs, or reason. This, as compared with 
others brought forward by Pre-Socratics, e.g. water, air, fire, 
was apparently subjective ; actually however for him vovs is 
a purely objective moving principle, and he is as cosmological 
as the rest. 

With all of these there is latent the beginning of an 
epistemological theory. The distinction between experience, 
as we actually find it, and reflexion on our experience is 
implicit in all ; but no one marked out clearly the difference 
between experience and reflexion, between sense and thought. 
They did not ask what the relation is between the two, 
nor how knowledge arises from both; they all thought of 
knowing in terms of sense. 

But the Sophists and Socrates, with the doctrine of Know 
thyself/ brought the question to the front, causing the theory 
of knowledge to enter on a new phase. Philosophy, from 
being cosmological, became anthropological. With Anaxa 
goras, man is part of the universe. But Protagoras and 
Socrates view the universe through man. Man is put before 
the universe man as knower (theoretical aspect of philo 
sophy) and as doer (practical aspect). The Pre-Socratics, 
with their definite theories of being, were ontologists rather 
than epistemologists, making no definite reference to the 
subject as such. So far as they are epistemologists they 
agree, however much they differ metaphysically. They all, 
namely, are Sensationalists. They take account of sensation 
only, and of this as something proceeding in us in a material 
way. 

Protagoras, on the other hand, treated the problem of 



34 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

knowledge so much from the subjective point of view that he 
never got beyond that standpoint. With him knowledge is im 
possible. There could of course be no knowledge apart from 
individual experience, but beyond that individual experience 
it was impossible to get. Knowledge is sense-perception, 
infinitely varied and changing; man, the individual per 
cipient, is, through his particular sensations, the measure of 
all things for himself. Thus he despaired of physical 
science, nor did he attempt any other kind of science, but 
devoted himself to practical life. Thus, in their consideration 
of the conduct of life, the Sophists employed moral persua 
sion instead of laying down any principles of moral science. 
Socrates also despaired of a knowledge of external things, 
holding that our experience of such is so completely relative 
to the individual that knowledge proper, i. e. having ob 
jective validity, is impossible. Nevertheless he was not 
content to drop epistemological considerations and go into 
practical life, but, resigning physical science as a worthy 
or possible object of search, he declared that a knowledge 
of man as a moral agent was possible. Though unable 
to get a knowledge of things, man can attain a knowledge 
of virtue. Accordingly Socrates set himself to formulate 
a science of moral conceptions, even to the identification 
of virtue and knowledge. He attempted to get at a definition 
of ethical notions by the generalisation of particulars, and 
thus to form concepts scientifically true. Scientific know 
ledge for Socrates is generalisation of particulars in the 
moral sphere, but not outside it. Science for him was 
general knowledge to know particulars through the concept. 
This view of the general notion as embodying science first 
found expression in the teaching of Socrates. It is Socratic 
conceptualism. 



iv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 35 

Plato s Theory of Ideas is a development of the Socratic 
conceptualism. He inherited both the concept of Socrates 
and also his high moral purpose. But Plato did not drop 
the general problem of knowledge; he asks, What is 
knowledge ? and, How is knowledge possible ? questions 
which he puts into the mouth of Socrates (Thecetetus, &c.), 
but which the latter never really asked, since he never 
conceived the problem of conduct as one to be solved by 
the problem of knowledge put universally. 

End of the First Period. 

We shall inquire into Plato s theories and those of Aristotle 
when dealing more specifically with those main questions 
referred to at the end of my third lecture. Here we need 
only briefly notice the conclusion of the period of ancient 
philosophy. 

The Aristotelian and Platonic schools went on, but in the 
later Greek and Roman period fell, as we have seen, into 
abeyance before Epicureanism and Stoicism. There was no 
advance in pure philosophy in Greece beyond Aristotle s 
time. The strong ethical bent inaugurated by Socrates, but 
tempered by the universal genius of Plato and Aristotle, pre 
vailed fully by the third century. The full weight of Aristotle s 
influence did not really tell until the Scholastic period and after 
that ; in the early Mediaeval period it was overshadowed by 
Platonism. The two or three names of importance in Roman 
philosophy fall under Epicureans, e.g. Lucretius, or Stoics, 
e.g. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Cicero 
(B.C. 44) was an Eclectic thinker, interesting chiefly for the 
information he gives of the various movements. 

If by the side of these we take thinkers who were not 
metaphysicians but scientific investigators, we see here and 

D 2 



36 Elements of General Philosophy. 

there one working with such success as to influence posterity, 
and, notably in astronomy, making correct conclusions on 
false grounds e.g. predicting eclipses on fallacious concep 
tions of the relations of sun and earth. When we say the 
ancients had no science, we make exception of Hippocrates 
(medicine, B.C. 460-357), Euclid the geometer of Alexandria 
(fl. B.C. 323-283), Archimedes the physicist, the founder of 
genuine Positive Science, Hipparchus (fl. B.JC. 160-145) and 
Ptolemy (fl. A. D. 139-161), the astronomers. 

An offshoot from Platonic idealism and the so-called 
Academic philosophy in the Christian era was Neo-Platonism. 
I have said that Greek philosophy was not religious. Its 
latest growth however, Neo-Platonism, sought to meet a 
religious want born of the social conditions of the time, and 
entered into direct competition with the young Christian 
faith for mastery over all the thoughts and actions of men, 
the most important Neo-Platonist being Plotinus. But 
Greek philosophers had no kind of scruple as to the ques 
tions they raised. Socrates had indeed scruples regarding 
physical inquiry, but these were curiously unlike later and 
modern scruples, and are to be explained from the state of 
contemporary knowledge in regard to the subjects more than 
from anything else. They bore on the limitations of what 
could be settled and how to settle it, and not at all of what 
ought, or ought not, to be discussed. Hence Greek philo 
sophy is the prototype of all earnest and unfettered thought. 



For LECTURES V and VI read : 

Ueberweg, op. cit. I, pp. 356, 357, 367, 368 (for the way in which 
the Scholastic thinkers got Greek thought); pp. 410, 411 (for the 
way in which Greek works went to the Arabs, and were translated 
into Syriac and then into Arabic) ; pp. 417-419 (for the influence 
of both on Jewish philosophy). Also pp. 430-432. 



LECTURE V. 

MEDIAEVAL PHILOSOPHY. 
Divisions. 

OUR second or Mediaeval period of Christian or Ecclesias 
tical Philosophy is divisible into two sections: (i) Patristic 
Philosophy, (2) Scholastic Philosophy. The former, beginning 
in the second century, culminated in Augustin (A.D. 354- 
430), then languished on through the virtually positive break 
of the Dark Ages, while the break-up of the older Western 
civilisation was proceeding. The latter (2) dates from the 
eleventh century, when philosophy was reviving in the mon 
astic schools founded largely by Charlemagne about A.D. 800, 
when society had assumed somewhat of the form of modern 
nationalities, and when universities had just been, or were 
about to be, founded. The doctors of the Church were 
called scholastic! vtrt, and their exposition of Christian 
dogma according to Greek principles is known as Scho 
lastic Philosophy, still taught to-day in Catholic schools. 
After William of Ockham (d. 1347) it began to break up, 
and there intervenes the transitional period of the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries ushering in Modern Philosophy. 

Authority and Philosophy. 

When Simplicius and his Neo-Platonist companions, the 
last representatives of Hellenic philosophy, were driven 



38 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

eastwards by the action of Justinian, in A.D. 529, and 
the Athenian schools, for the first time since the age of 
Socrates and Plato, were deserted and dumb, there was 
left the Christian Church, which had grown for five centuries 
till it was so strong that emperors edicts stood at its 
command, and so little unconscious of its future glory and 
its power, so little indisposed to dominate the thoughts of 
men, that the crushing out of the philosophical schools was 
but the last of a long series of blows levelled by it at the 
authority of human thinking. Unless we form a true con 
ception of the historical relation of the Church to philosophic 
thought, we cannot comprehend the modern philosophy 
begun by Descartes. 

Greek speculation, though it often had to pick its steps 
among established faiths (remember the fate of Socrates!) 
was, as we said, pre-eminently disinterested in its search after 
reasoned truth. Now too since the last three hundred years 
it is fully conceded that the human mind may search out 
anything and everything up to the limit of its powers, in the 
bare interest of truth and intelligent insight. But between 
this recurring phase of opinion there was an interval when 
liberty of thought was not the watchword of most, nor 
even of the most enlightened, minds. This interval, coin 
cident with the period of supremacy of the Church in all 
departments of life, dates back to the beginnings of the 
Christian movement, and covers an interval whose magnitude 
it takes an effort, not often made, fully to conceive. Even 
pagan philosophy, viz. in its Neo-Platonist phase, was much 
affected by the principles and professions of the growing 
Church. Let us remember that the best Greek thought 
was excogitated in some four hundred years and less, 
and that modern philosophy only dates back three centuries. 



v.] Elements of General Philosophy. 39 

We have thus 1600 years to account for as against those 
seven or eight hundred. Reduce this term as we may 
by the fringes of the dwindling of the first and the 
earliest growth of the latest periods, still there remains 
a clear thousand of years during which it was not open 
to men to think as they liked and this is a huge slice 
out of the history of humanity. What the Church did, or 
permitted to be done for the enlightenment of the race took 
three times as long as the great deeds that are crowded 
into the something more than three centuries from Bacon 
and Descartes till the present. Those of course were very 
different times from ours, and there was plenty of other 
work, hard and grim, for the Church to do, and the Church 
did much of it bravely. But we must not forget that 
the seventh and eighth centuries were as long as the seven 
teenth and eighteenth. And not to forget this, but to 
remember and ponder it, in connexion with the intellectual 
history of mankind, is one of the first things the student 
of philosophical history is called upon to do. 

Greek Philosophy in Harness. 

At the beginning of the sixth century the Church finally 
stamped out the very feeble remnant representing Greek 
thought. That date is also critical in another way. Not 
only was it then that the Church grasped the reins, but 
a turning-point was also reached in her internal develop 
ment. As in after-ages the Church did not so much repress 
thought as compress it within her own limits, so it is not 
to be supposed that she at this date had stood altogether 
outside of the philosophical current. The Christian religion, 
viewed philosophically, rivalled the Stoic and Epicurean 
schools as a way of thinking towards an ideal of human 



40 Elements of General Philosophy. [LKCT. 

conduct. The rules of life were given not as rational, but 
as a revelation from on high. But in time, as the Church 
grew and brought into her fold more and more men of 
higher culture, the developed conceptions of pagan philo 
sophy came into contact with the Christian philosophy. 
Epictetus the Stoic, Marcus Aurelius the Stoic emperor, 
Plotinus and Proclus, are not the only names of philoso 
phical note in the early centuries of the new era. Origen 
(185-254), Athanasius (296-373), Tertullian (160-220), 
and, above all, Augustin (354-430), are not less worthy 
of notice, for the historian of philosophy as well as for the 
Churchman. Augustin, a man of developed pagan culture, 
appearing at the time when Christianity had gained the mastery, 
first put forth those conceptions, which came to be the 
accepted philosophy of the Christian Church, with a breadth 
of thought hitherto unrivalled. He derived his conception 
of the soul as real and yet as opposed to matter from the 
Platonists. Metaphysically he was a Dualist, and fixed 
philosophy from his time onward as a system of Dualism. 

In fact the first generation of Christian converts had 
hardly passed away before philosophic thought began, while 
three or four centuries of ardent philosophic thinking and 
dialectical discussion, carried on with Greek subtlety upon 
principles of Greek philosophy, had been needed before the 
many-headed dogma of the Church had been settled and 
the function of the Fathers fulfilled, there being nothing 
more to create. What one section of Christendom has 
often bewailed, and another has rejoiced over, may be 
accepted with some confidence for a fact, viz. that the 
ecclesiastical doctrine was the result of an incorporation 
of a few simple tenets with the wisdom of the world, or 
at least of the interpretation of a small number of practical 



V.] Elements of General Philosophy. 41 

truths by the refined intelligence of thinkers who had been 
trained in Greek schools. The fact belongs to the history 
of philosophy as much as to religion, although the Fathers 
would for the most part have thrown from them the 
imputation, so ready as they were to denounce philosophy 
and all profane wisdom in the interest of faith. 

Fathers and Doctors of the Church. 

But after a while all the main dogmas were formed by 
which the Church was henceforth to stand, the edifice 
being crowned in the fifth century by Augustin, last and 
greatest of the Fathers. After him philosophising was bent 
into other than creative channels. This is what happened. 
Pagan philosophy having been reduced to silence, and the 
Fathers of the Church East and West having passed away, 
their dogmatic work accomplished, when next, under the 
auspices of the consolidated and all-powerful Church, some 
thing of the old inquiring and reasoning spirit appeared, it 
was given the task of interpreting and unfolding, of sup 
porting and upholding, what was there already. To the 
Fathers of the Church succeeded her Doctors, who in 
monastic schools and, as time went on, in universities made 
philosophy conform to dogma, expounding in logical form 
and sustaining by rational argument the doctrines which no 
one might any more presume to touch in their substance. 
This was the second phase or true Scholastic Philosophy. 

The Dark Ages. 

The transition was not swiftly made. With the final 
triumph of the Church in the Roman world, about A.D. 600, 
when the historian comes upon the time of darkness and 
chaos, when the great world-empire, falling of itself into 






42 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

pieces or broken into fragments by the northern races, was 
hewn into the rough shapes of modern states and nation 
alities, the Church held on its way; but it was no longer 
the Church of Augustin, and not yet the Church of Aquinas. 
Only perhaps a single obscure name in a century stands 
out from the time of Augustin to the age of Charlemagne. 

The grandiose attempt of the latter, at the close of the 
eighth century, to organise European society on the basis of 
a twofold imperium of Emperor and Pope gave room for 
some serious beginnings to be made of provision for intel 
lectual culture in the monastic schools. Half a century later 
there appeared one of mark John Scotus Erigena (800- 
877), a native of either Ireland or Ayrshire, where the 
darkness had never been so complete as on the continent. 
He struck the keynote of all that followed in enunciating 
the perfect unity of religion and philosophy, of faith and 
reason. 

But Charlemagne s construction could not endure, and 
two centuries more of confusion and anarchy were added 
to the dismal roll before there arose any prospect of an 
intellectual succession in Christendom. Erigena was de 
nounced as a heretic for his pains ; hence we may not place 
the beginnings of Scholasticism earlier than the middle of the 
eleventh century. Thus there was for about five hundred 
years next to no philosophy among the European races; 
during that time philosophic activity was confined to Arabians 
in Bagdad and Moors in Spain. They in the time of greatest 
darkness carried on disinterested thinking. 

Effective Thinking in Christendom confined to the West. 

In inquiring into the growth of Scholasticism, let it first 
be borne in mind, that of the two divisions of the Church 



v.] Elements of General Philosophy. 43 

it is practically only the Western or Roman Church with 
which we have to do. The aim of the Fathers was perhaps 
not less actively promoted in the East than in the West ; the 
development of dogma really took place more at Constanti 
nople and at Alexandria than at Rome. But at the end of 
the first period, the great consolidation of doctrine made by 
Augustin for the West, possessed as it was by a force that 
could survive five centuries, was paralleled by nothing of its 
kind in the East. And it was for want of this, as much as 
for any other reasons, that the Eastern Church in the final 
division of Christendom, although not assaulted by the storms 
that for centuries beset the West, never to the last did 
anything for enlightenment to compare with the remark 
able if tardy achievements of the Western Schoolmen. The 
thinkers of Constantinople were men of third or fourth rate 
power. The authority of Augustin had been the saving of 
the West. We consider therefore only the Western Church 
with its Augustinian code. 

Philosophic Instruments applied by the Schoolmen. 

As to the instruments of the Scholastics for the interpreta 
tion of the doctrine handed on to them, the Doctors had 
some philosophical works of the Greeks which had come 
across the gulf of centuries. Of course they had, besides, 
Augustin, but his knowledge of Greek philosophy was gained 
at second hand only. Of Aristotle they had some minor 
logical works ; they possessed Porphyry s Introduction to the 
Categories (all in the Latin translation of Boethius), and (also 
in translation) a small piece of Plato s Timceus. This was 
all, excepting one or two inferior works by commentators. 
Plato s speculations were unknown save as transmitted by 
Augustin and some of the Neo-Platonists. Even the merely 



44 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

logical doctrines of Aristotle were incompletely apprehended 
before the middle of the twelfth century, while the full 
scope of his encyclopaedic work remained unknown till the 
thirteenth century, when the Schoolmen had in a round 
about way obtained translations of his works. When in 
A.D. 529 the Greek professors were dispersed, they fled to 
Bagdad and the East, bearing with them the records of 
Greek philosophy the original works of Aristotle, &c. 
There they were in course of time translated into Syriac 
and thence into Arabic. The Arabian conquests having 
established the Mohammedan empire from the East across 
North Africa into Spain, Greek learning found its way 
thither in Arabic, and was there again translated by 
Jews into Hebrew and borne back into Christendom. 
Then both from Arabic and from Hebrew Latin transla 
tions were finally made, and these were received by the 
Schoolmen as a kind of revelation. But this did not take 
place till the twelfth century. As it took place, as they 
became acquainted with Greek philosophy, their view 
perceptibly widened. And by the time the Schoolmen 
had learnt their Aristotle as fully as might be in this in 
direct way, i.e. at the beginning of the thirteenth century, 
this knowledge began to be supplemented by acquain 
tance with the original Greek, or by direct translations 
from the same, the originals being sent or brought by the 
Greeks of Constantinople. 

Limitations of Scholasticism. 

Scholasticism was philosophising in support of a limited 
and foregone conclusion. This is the difference between it 
and the free movement of Hellenic thought. But still it was 
philosophising. The Doctors did make a step towards the 



v.] Elements of General Philosophy. 45 

light, in working from blind devotion to more or less 
rational belief. We can thus distinguish between their great 
ness and their limitations. If we dwell on the latter, the 
case against them can be strongly put and maintained. It 
is easy to abuse Scholasticism. No new or striking con 
ception, like those we find in ancient or in modern philo 
sophy, penetrating to the heart of things, sprang from any 
one of the Schoolmen. From want of ability or lack of 
liberty they never carried thought farther than the Greek 
leaders, and for the most part not so far. Their utter 
dependence upon Aristotle appears in that, as their know 
ledge of him widened, their views of philosophy widened 
and they became able to conceive the full scope of philo 
sophic inquiry. Till the thirteenth century they had no 
conception of philosophy but as a vague science of dialectic 
or logic, nor had they made any division of its departments 
as Aristotle had done. And at the last they incurred 
discredit through comparison with the Greek philosophy, 
when the fall of Constantinople revealed this in the original 
form more fully to the West. They were found to have 
established no alternative claim to modern respect by taking 
up any branch of thought which the Greeks had neglected, 
or in which they had failed. And their very acuteness, 
through being turned on to a fatally narrow circle of 
subjects, had led to subtleties that were doomed to be the 
occasion of some of the bitterest reproaches since heaped 
upon them. 

The Case for Scholasticism. 

On the other side it should be noted that the Schoolmen 
were not responsible for their circumstances, determined 
by a great and uncontrollable course of events. It was 



46 Elements of General Philosophy. 

something that, after so great a dissolution, there should 
have been so considerable an attempt at reconstruction. 
It was not a little wonderful that they should have applied 
all the enlightenment handed down to them to rationalise 
faith, and that they struggled as they did against the con 
servatism of ecclesiastical authority until official recognition 
of one newly rationalised doctrine after another was extorted. 
Theirs became entitled Church philosophy, yet the Church 
did nothing but accept, did nothing to encourage, their 
philosophising, witness the case of Scotus Erigena. Often 
and often was Aristotle solemnly banned before he came 
to be considered (in the thirteenth century) as the fore 
runner of Christ in the things of Nature as John Baptist 
was in the things of Grace. No, we must not speak 
only of the servility of the Schoolmen ; they showed not 
only wisdom but also courage in their appeal to heathen 
Aristotle. And it is more becoming at this time of day, and 
more important besides, that their wisdom and their courage 
should not remain unacknowledged. 



For LECTURE VI : 

The student should not fail to follow up the lecture by reading 
Croom Robertson s account of British Schoolmen in the essay, The 
English Mind, Philosophical Remains, pp. 34-38. ED. 



LECTURE VI. 

SCHOLASTICISM AND THE RISE OF MODERN SCIENCE AND 
PHILOSOPHY. 

Realism in Scholasticism. 

INTO the question which chiefly occupied the Schoolmen 
in their attempt to interpret and rationalise Christian dogma 
in the light of Greek philosophy the question of the nature 
of Universals or General Ideas we shall enter more 
fully in a separate lecture. It was not new then any 
more than it is obsolete now. Before Plato and Aristotle 
the Greeks had seen its significance ; with those two it was 
a matter of the deepest concern. Plato, with his archetypal 
ideas as the only Realities, is the great representative of 
the one extreme view to which the Schoolmen first gave 
the name of Realism. Aristotle held a modified Realism. 
The other extreme view, viz. that only particulars are 
realities, the universal being but subjective, also had its 
representatives in Greek thought, Epicurus, e.g. approximating 
to a modern Nominalist, although on different grounds. 
Of how the question had been discussed by the Greeks 
the Schoolmen knew nothing. Nevertheless, Porphyry 
and the fragments in their hands were enough to suggest 
the problem, and in fact Erigena in the ninth century, in the 
fervour of his Neo-Platonism, had raised it, and come to 
a conclusion in the spirit of a thorough Realist. Moreover, 
as soon as the philosophic interest was aroused within the 



48 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Church, the Schoolmen were quick to see the full bearing 
of the issues. Their philosophy consisting in the intellectual 
consideration of the mystery of the faith, they discerned 
at the foundation of how many articles of that faith the 
problem lay the Trinity, the Real Presence, the Redemption 
of the race, the status of the Church as the divinely illumined 
witness of the Truth. In these and other beliefs they saw 
how the relation of the Many to the One, the old question 
of Parmenides and Heracleitus, identical with the later 
question as to Universals, is implicated. 

Now whichever view the Schoolmen took, they made an 
advance in taking any view at all, and the view held by 
some from the first, and by the majority at the last, showed 
more intellect and betokened more independence than is 
ordinarily ascribed to them. Its promulgation heralded the 
approach of modern thought. 

Divisions of the Scholastic Period. 

The whole period falls into three parts : 

Part I. From the eleventh to the end of the twelfth century. 

Part II. covers the thirteenth century. 

Part III. From the fourteenth century till whenever 
Scholasticism may be supposed to end ; that is, one might 
say, with the sixteenth century for the active and leading 
spirits in Europe, with the seventeenth for the universities 
in the advanced countries, but not even to the present 
day in the seminaries of the Catholic Church, where Aquinas 
is still the great philosophical authority. 

The first period is the Platonic age of Scholasticism. 
Aristotle, as we have seen, was at this date known chiefly 
through the medium of the Arabian scholars, while Plato was 
known directly by a fragment only, but indirectly through 



VL] Elements of General Philosophy. 49 

Neo-Platonic media and Augustin s works. But a Realism 
as strong as Plato s was supported by Anselm (1033-1109) 
and others, and this view was tolerated or approved and 
accepted by the Church. Reason and faith were in process 
of coming together, but it was an innovation. Scholasticism 
was struggling to gain its footing. Roscellin (fl. 1092), on 
the other hand, dared to avow an extreme Nominalism and 
drove it to an extravagant conclusion. 

The second period is the Aristotelian age of Scholasticism, 
when Aristotle, better known at length in Latin, though not 
in Greek, came to have more influence over the human mind 
than at any previous period in history. Way had been made 
for this evolution by Abelard (1079-1142), that restless, 
critical, but not constructive spirit, antagonistic to Anselm. 
Independent and unchecked by rules, he is the first and 
best representative of freedom of thought in the Middle 
Ages. A multitude of other circumstances concurred to 
induce the change of attitude. The beginnings of Scholas 
ticism coincide with the beginnings of the Papal supre 
macy in Europe the period from Hildebrand to Innocent 
III and the maturity of Scholasticism was attained when 
the Papacy was putting forth its strongest claims against 
the civil power in the days, i.e. of Innocent III (1198- 
1216) and when the Church was endeavouring as far as 
possible to widen the organised ecclesiastical teaching. Now 
the encyclopaedic genius of Aristotle was exactly fitted 
to satisfy the largest requirements on these lines, and hence 
Scholasticism, with its ground-principle of reason in the 
service of faith, flourished at length under Aristotelian 
influence. 

In Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) the junction was com 
pleted. He retained all of Plato that he needed for dogma 



50 Elements of General Philosophy [LECT. 

where Aristotle fell short. But now reason, unlike the first 
period when she was struggling to enter, not only had 
entered into the penetralia of faith, but was fully recognised, 
on the condition of yielding aid and reverence to the Church, 
as the legitimate occupant of the realm of nature. The 
interest in the natural world felt by Roger Bacon was 
undoubtedly due to Aristotle s observation of natural phe 
nomena. The watchword of the thought of the day was 
the Reasonableness of the Faith, and this, Aquinas maintained, 
was perfectly intelligible even to the smallest particular. 
But hardly had the generation of Aquinas passed away 
than this union was seen to be hollow. 

The third period is one of rupture and divorce between 
reason and faith. It is very curious to note how from the 
two sides equally the fatal change of attitude was effected. 
John Duns Scotus (1274-1308), who had refined and dis 
tinguished beyond all human belief to the extent of twelve 
folio volumes before he died at the age of 34, was an 
ardent devoted son of the Church, but he aimed the first 
blow at Scholasticism by disturbing the concordat of the 
thirteenth century. He denied that Aquinas had demon 
strated the reasonableness of the faith. Christian doctrine 
transcended reason and had to be believed. Another Briton, 
William of Ockham, took two strides backward (or forward) 
for one of Scotus, in reviving the Nominalism of Roscellin, 
and declaring, like him, that the rational expression of the 
leading Christian dogmas was impossible. That Roscellin 
should have beforehand by implication proclaimed the nullity 
of the Scholastic attempt was as little grateful to the Church 
as to Anselm, and accordingly Roscellin, who had even 
exceeded the intellectual licence of Abelard, was condemned 
and his doctrine banned for two centuries. But the times 



VL] Elements of General Philosophy. 51 

had changed, and Ockham, milder than Roscellin, could 
better gain access to men s minds. Professing implicit 
belief in all the articles of the faith, he proceeded to show, 
as Kant did later, how impotent was Reason to establish 
any one of them. Highly gifted, possessing great force of 
character, and a Franciscan, Ockham gave the Church little 
cause to love him, and his doctrines did not at once find 
favour. Nevertheless the times were ready for it, and the 
Church had gradually to bring herself to support those who 
declared that the faith could not be explained because it 
was too high. 

But this theory was adopted by independent thinkers as 
giving, in the mere shadow of restraint it imposed, a chance 
to get virtually free ; and the Church and the world, having 
agreed to differ, went farther and farther asunder till they 
turned their backs on each other. The Church might go 
on believing and exacting what belief it could; but while 
far from indisposed to believe, men insisted that they would 
also freely inquire. The influence of the Church was 
extinguished in different degrees at different places. Events 
had happened which would have broken Scholasticism even 
had it been less shaken from within. Human vision and 
human power were being extended on all sides, in every 
sphere of human interest. The East had become known 
through the crusades, and now explorers had unveiled 
a world and an ancient civilisation in the far West. The 
reign of darkness, dimly lit hitherto by a circumscribed 
stock of ideas, once broken, many of those ideas had to be 
changed or surrendered. Most revolutionising of all were the 
results of Copernicus s flash of thought. The earth was not 
fixed and flat, nor the centre of things, but only a revolving 
satellite, one of many specks in the starry sky, and away 

2 



52 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

on every side, down as well as up, space ran out into 
the illimitable. Europe was dwarfed in the world; the 
world was dwarfed in the universe. The heavens existed 
for other beings than the human race. The right of private 
judgment was claimed for every separate individuality till, at 
the beginning of the sixteenth century, Europe was rent in 
twain. The revival of letters dates from the fall of Constan 
tinople in 1453, when Greek scholars were driven West. 
The next 150 years witnessed a great revulsion. When 
through those refugees the true Plato became known, there 
was a wild wave of Platonic revival. Then attempts were 
made to understand the true Aristotle, but generally he was 
decried as the instrument of the Scholastics and, in the 
heat of reaction, reviled for the artificial supremacy to 
which they had exalted him. Every Greek school had its 
adherents who fancied they had lit upon ideas that were all 
the emancipated world could want. Most remarkable of all 
were the premature attempts at constructive philosophy by the 
Italian Nature-philosophers, of whom Telesius was perhaps 
the most earnest and Giordano Bruno the best known and 
most imposing. These were endeavours, on a purely 
secular basis of objective consideration, to bring into order 
and explain the universe in its new vastness. Bruno was 
burnt at Rome in 1600. Four years previous had seen the 
birth of Descartes. 

Period of Transition, 

The Church philosophy, while it ceased to advance in the 
fifteenth century, lingered on until the modern movement 
in philosophy took definite shape. After the fourteenth 
century the best minds were no longer content to be church- 
philosophers, even if they were friendly to the established 



vi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 53 

religion. A time of intellectual transition supervened, coin 
ciding with the Renaissance, Renascence, or Revival of 
Letters. But the movement was very gradual. Many among 
the Schoolmen had been preparing the way for the Renais 
sance. This transition may be considered as having lasted 
from 1450 till 1600. It was a time of great intellectual 
activity, chiefly of a destructive and disintegrating nature, 
although there were many bold constructive attempts. These, 
however, were only in revival of past points of view. The 
destroyers, in this epoch of fermentation, left little of per 
manent value. 

The Modern Period. 

With 1600 begins the modern period, properly speaking. 
Since that time there has been a continuous intellectual flow 
till now, and there is reason to expect it may continue. 
The movement has not only been rich in event, it has been 
European to an extent to which the Church philosophy 
was not, much less the Greek. The great Scholastic thinkers, 
it is true, were of different nationalities, chiefly Italian, 
French, and British, and of these more especially British. 
The greatest of all, Aquinas, was an Italian, but nearly 
all the great steps were taken by men of these islands. 
But whatever nationality they belonged to, they abjured it 
and became Churchmen. It is only below the surface that we 
discern the national characteristics. In the modern period, 
on the other hand, not only do all the cultured races of 
Europe take part, but the national differences, especially 
in the British contributors, are far more marked. There 
is consequently far greater complexity. And whatever else 
the period has included, there has been a continuous British 
philosophy. 



54 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

The Modern Scientific Movement. 

Side by side with modern philosophy there has been, to 
a degree unparalleled before, a properly scientific movement. 
There is but one name to represent positive science in 
the preceding period the name of the Franciscan monk, 
Roger Bacon (1214-1294). He alone, while the Scholastic 
mind was turned away from nature and wholly occupied 
with general philosophy, was profoundly interested in the 
investigation of natural phenomena. For his pains he was 
imprisoned twenty or thirty years. Like Archimedes, he 
stands without known forerunners or successors. It was 
not till Galileo arose that physical science entered on its 
modern course. 

It is in the modern period that the work of special 
scientific inquiry begins, with ever-increasing subdivision. 
Some of the leading modern philosophers rank among the 
scientific discoverers, e.g., Descartes and Leibniz ; but modern 
science commenced its career before modern philosophy. 
Galileo figures in the first decades of the seventeenth century 
(i 56 4- 1 642). Following him there was a continual scientific 
advance. He was mainly occupied with physics; Harvey, 
(1578-1657) with physiology. Pascal (1623-1662) devoted 
himself to physics and mathematics as well as to philosophy. 
Boyle (1627-1691) is the type of the modern scientific man, 
of no speculative power, content with eliciting positive results 
without troubling himself about their relations to other 
results. Newton (1642-1727) is the supreme representative 
of special scientific inquiry, though of so wide a range that 
he is quite above the common rank of inquirers. He laid 
out what has been accepted as the true physical system of 
the universe, but becomes confused (in comparison, e.g. 



VL] Elements of General Philosophy. 55 

with Locke) when dealing with its speculative aspect. After 
Newton science branched out and developed gradually into 
its present high specialisation. At the present time a man 
must specialise or do nothing. But it was Copernicus (1473- 
1543) who, in setting the minds of men at the proper point 
of view for contemplating the universe, prepared the way for 
Galileo and for Newton, and enabled those that came after to 
engage in their special inquiries. 

By the philosophic movement, as distinct from the scientific, 
we mean the thinking of men who put themselves essentially 
at the subjective point of view. They do not exclude the 
practice of, or the having regard to, a scientific investigation 
of nature, but they aim at bringing together the results 
obtained in science, and hold that the study of things must 
be supplemented by a study of thoughts, the study of nature 
by a study of things in relation to man. 



LECTURE VII. 

MODERN PHILOSOPHY. 

Divisions. 

THE whole movement of Modern Philosophy has been 
described as an attempt to come at a knowledge of things 
from a consideration of the conditions and powers of human 
reason. It starts from the subjective point of view, from 
that of the knowing mind. Herein it is distinguished from 
ancient philosophy, which took an objective point of view, 
as well as from Scholasticism, which was fettered by a system 
of belief held to be revealed. 

Within this movement we meet early with an opposition 
in thought that admits of greatly varied expression. The 
German classifications, e. g. Schwegler s and others, are 
somewhat unsatisfactory. Schwegler, Kuno Fischer, and 
most of the German historians, divide all schools into Realists 
and Idealists those who explain thoughts from things, and 
those who explain things from thoughts. But this is a bad 
use of ambiguous, much abused terms. Realist, e.g. has 
been used both in the question of the perception of an 
external world and also in that of the reality of universals. 
It was proposed by Kant to use the term Metaphysical Dog 
matists or Dogmatic Metaphysicians, and the usage has 
become common in Germany; but this does not apply 



Elements of General Philosophy. 57 

farther than Wolff. Kant, coming after Wolff, it is often 
said, inaugurated a period of Critical Philosophy, appearing 
as a critical thinker in relation to two movements pre 
ceding him Metaphysical Dogmatism and Empiricism, 
the latter, he found, having been carried by Hume into 
Scepticism. Were we at the Kantian point of view this 
division of modern thought might do; as it is, we must 
find a place for such as Kant. 

Descartes and Bacon. 

Modern philosophy, as distinct from the pursuit of modern 
science, begins as late as the second generation of the 
seventeenth century with Descartes, and not before. It is in 
relation to him that we have to understand all who follow. 
Bacon, who flourished a generation earlier than Descartes, f 
HalTmore relation to the scientific than to the philosophic 
movement, and had no intellectual succession till long after / 
Descartes. Hobbes caught none of Bacon s enthusiasm- 
for laborious inductive research (though he came into per 
sonal contact with him), and showed only a very general 
agreement with him as to the ultimate springs of human 
knowledge in sense. Bacon s system fructified later on, 
mainly in physical science. Whatever philosophy there was 
in England in the middle of the seventeenth century was not ? 
truly Baconian. Modern Empirical Philosophy, or Empiri- / 
cism, took its proper beginning in Locke s Essay concerning 
Htiman Understanding (1690) a work which was partly 
Baconian and regarded experience as the key of knowledge. 
All the other leaders in the modern movement grow out 
from Descartes in a continuous philosophic line. Never 
theless, though in Bacon the strictly philosophical ideas and 
results are a small part of his writings compared with 



58 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Descartes , he is without question to be numbered among 
(mental) philosophers. To proclaim that the human mind 
must begin, in everything, with simple particular experiences, 
and that all other knowledge is pretence or error, is a philo 
sophical idea. The study of nature on Baconian principles 
may be only positive physical science, but in him it was 
philosophy to call men back from a vain manipulation of 
words and abstractions to the methodic observation and 
interpretation of the real phenomena of nature. Moreover, 
Bacon s idea has its application to mind as well as nature, 
and therein leads and has led to philosophical results of 
a sufficiently far-reaching cast. 

Rationalism and Experientialiswt. 

There are thus two main lines to be distinguished those 
who say that knowledge is explicable from reason 1 , and 
those who hold it is explicable from experience and these 
hold good up to Kant, when we begin to get approximations 
from one line to another : Kant, e. g. approximates to the 
Experientialists from the Rationalist side ; nor is Reid a pure 
Experientialist. We cannot label the varieties of human 
thought as exclusively of one kind or the other. Descartes 
undoubtedly heads the former, and Bacon may be allowed 
to head the latter, but nowhere must we strain the con 
nexions. We must look only for general similarity in habits 
of thought. All schools allow the distinction between reason 
and experience as being, either or both, the ultimate con 
stituents of human knowledge, but in modern times thinkers 

1 The student must distinguish between the narrower peculiarly 
German connotation of Rationalism used here, and its wider meaning, 
common in this country, of the revolt of individual reason or judgment 
against authority in all ultimate questions. ED. 



vii.] ElemenL 



59 



differ in the prominence they assign to one or the other. 
English philosophers have always put forward experience 
as that in which to seek an explanation of knowledge. 
Thinkers of other countries, have, on the whole, been dis 
posed to give pre-eminence to reason ; but Rationalists differ 
much in the relative weight they allow to experience as 
an additional factor to reason, just as Experientialists differ 
with respect to reason as an additional factor to experience. 
Let us survey both lines of thought. 

Rationalists. 

Descartes began, both in matter and method, a distinct 
movement during two generations. This was carried on 
by his (the Cartesian) school Geulincx, Arnauld, Male- 
branche, and especially Spinoza. Geulincx, Arnauld and 
Malebranche sought to be thorough-going Cartesians. 
Spinoza, while following Descartes, had, besides, distinctly 
independent views ; the most characteristic aspect of him 
came from the Jewish philosophy of the Middle Ages. 
Before and after Spinoza s death Leibniz, though bitterly 
opposed to the former and appealing from Descartes back to 
the Schoolmen, kept up modern metaphysical Rationalism 
or a priori speculation for yet another generation. Like 
Spinoza, he was a markedly original thinker, although he 
thought with reference to the results of Descartes and 
Spinoza. He was followed by Wolff, who, of less impor 
tance, joins Kant to Leibniz, of whom he is a disciple. 
Wolff had hardly completed his encyclopaedic labour of 
putting form and system into Leibniz s disjointed labours 
when Kant began his academical career in a state of 
1 dogmatic slumber, from which it needed the scepticism 
of Hume to wake him. Kant called these, his predecessors, 




/Sir s S 

; ffi > ^ 

/ M v^, 


w 


V^ (5^ 

/ oo r- 
; lO I> 




; w 1 
>> O ^ 


s ^ 


*"^ c O 


c^"^ g 


i_ O 3 c- 



ffi 7 



^ toS ^ 

00 C CO CO 



^r WE- 






M ^5 



~.S -3 

is-s 



2 



: co 



vii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 61 

* dogmatic in opposition to himself as critical, and to the 
sceptical philosophy of Hume. They are also called Sub- 
stantialists because each starts with a conception of substance, 
the variations in which constitute the chief differences between 
them. 

The Rationalist Succession. 

Without derogating from individual thinkers, we may say 
that the three great Rationalists, Descartes, Spinoza and 
Leibniz, form stages of one movement in the progressive 
development of philosophy in an orderly sequence of thought, 
although Spinoza protested against Descartes, and Leibniz 
protested against both. Spinoza takes up the problems that 
Descartes had left, and solves them to all intents and 
purposes in Cartesian terms, as he would not have done 
unless Descartes results and methods had been there. 
Leibniz also takes those results, and from them tries to get 
to others, arriving however at such as require him to make 
a fresh start from a different position. And although he 
began to arrive at his results without Spinoza, they were 
emphasised and worked out in conscious antagonism to 

Spinoza. 

Cartesianism. 

Now Descartes gave to modern philosophy its subjective 
character. Seeking some immediate, irrefutable certainty as 
a starting-point or fulcrum for all knowledge, he put aside 
the testimony of authority, of tradition, of opinion, of the 
sphere of sense, saying of these dubitandum est de omnibus. 
He only found standing ground in his own reflective self- 
consciousness. Cogito ergo sum, or rather dubito ergo sum, 
for it was in the fact of his thought as doubting that he found 
the immediate certainty he sought. But he soon abandoned 
this epistemological position for one of dogmatism Ego 



62 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

sum res cogitans and then for the dogmatic Dualism of I am 
a thinking substance, thinking of a substance that does not 
think? Thus he assumed both mind and matter, the key 
note of dogmatic metaphysic being that whatever we clearly 
and distinctly conceive is, or represents, Reality that thought 
fs the measure of Reality. And the truth of this dual as 
sumption was guaranteed for him, he held, by the existence 
of a perfect and veracious Deity. 

The Development of Cartesianism. 

Now this dualism of Descartes is really double, being a 
dualism as between God and the world, and also as between 
mind and body. And the problem of the co-existence 
of substances in either case was carried on by Spinoza and 
the Occasionalists, Malebranche, Geulincx and Arnauld. 
The latter concluded that the apparent interaction between 
mind and body was illusory, the actions of the mind being 
only so many occasions for the intervention of divine power 
resulting in the corresponding bodily action. But the 
creature was not only robbed of the power of initiating 
action, he was also deprived of the ability to know. Know 
ledge, according to Malebranche, takes place by the vision 
of all .things in God/ i. e. it is not we but God that knows 
through us. 

Here we have the consistent development of what was 
implicit in Descartes. It is the death of philosophy/ 

Spinoza s central conception was that of substance. He 
started with it, whereas Descartes worked up to it. But 
he could not allow more than one substance, all process and 
all change in the universe being necessarily determined by the 
nature of that one. Besides God/ he wrote, no substance 
can be given or conceived/ 



vii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 63 

Critical Philosophy. 

Kant, on the other hand, raised the question as to whether 
we can know substance at all, substance being a notion 
which, while it underlies experience, is not given in expe 
rience. He critically examined reason and not experience, 
yet he approaches nearer to Experientialism than the other 
Rationalists. 

Kant s movement of thought has had a profound influence 
over all Europe. So much has grown from his philosophy 
that we cannot here deal with it. Many thinkers have been 
his disciples, but the great movement in German philosophy 
of Schelling, Fichte and Hegel was as relatively independent 
as the departures of Spinoza and Leibniz with reference to 
Descartes. They philosophise with reference to Kant s critical 
inquiry, but are not themselves Kantians. 

Common Sense Philosophy. 

The Scottish school of Common Sense philosophy of 
Reid and his followers was first of all a protest against the 
offensive, negative conclusions of Hume, but consisted in 
a partial departure only from Locke, for it sheltered itself 
under Bacon as the defender of Experience. Reid sought 
to make out that, in addition to the senses, there are 
principles of a common sense inherent in the human mind 
from the beginning and transcending experience. Dugald 
Stewart followed Reid, not contributing much original matter, 
and was followed by Hamilton, who, although he glories 
in being a disciple of Reid, was influenced in his thought by 
Kant. Without being a thorough Kantian or well trained 
in Kantian philosophy, he became through his Kantian 
studies heir to a larger insight than Reid possessed. 



64 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

The Experientialists. 

There is nothing on the Experientialist side like the definite 
succession there is upon the side of the Rationalists, although 
the books are apt to declare the reverse. Bacon was not 
carried on by Hobbes, nor Hobbes by Locke. Each went 
on his own way after his own manner. They all start from 
a consideration of Sense, but do not constitute definite 
milestones upon a certain track. All are more or less 
Nominalist. Bacon preached with unsurpassed fervour the 
necessity of turning to external nature, and it is mainly 
scientific men who have felt his influence. His general 
position (v. p. 58) is that knowledge begins with particular 
experience that general knowledge must be got from 
particulars and tested by experience. But he can scarcely 
rank as the father of Experiential philosophy. Hobbes s 
philosophy, again, was markedly provocative to succeeding 
thinkers, but exercised no regular, systematic influence 
such as we find on the other side. But when we come to 
Locke, we encounter a philosophic initiator who may be 
called so in the same sense as Descartes. He began 
a new movement which amounted to a definite system 
of Experientialism. He set himself to prove the problem 
of jiuman knowledge, and his watchword is Experience 
as much as Descartes was Reason. It was the latter who 
set him thinking, although it was the latter he opposed. 
Leibniz s Nouveaux Essais were written against the Essay 
concerning Human Understanding. Locke stirred up Leibniz 
to investigate the origin of knowledge from a different stand 
point from that taken in the essay. 

Locke s essay was present to the mind of Berkeley, who 
took up human knowledge in the spirit of an Experientialist. 
Later on he came to be occupied with the question of our 



VIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 65 

knowledge of matter, and solved it in general correspondence 
with the principles of Locke s philosophy, yet without being 
more of a Lockian than Spinoza and Leibniz were Cartesians. 
He took up the question of knowledge as he did because 
Locke left it where he did. Twenty-eight years after the 
appearance of Berkeley s Principles of Human Knowledge 
Hume wrote his Treatise of Human Nature, carrying for 
ward Experientialism as far in some respects as it could 
be carried, so that in those particular lines there was 
nothing left for followers to do. He excited more opposi 
tion than adherence not only in his own country, but notably 
in Kant. Hereby English philosophy, as in the case of 
Locke and Leibniz, came into contact with European 
thought. 

Psychological Philosophy. Associationism. 

While his general philosophy was thus carried out by 
Berkeley and Hume so as to provoke a reaction, Locke set on 
foot another movement. Although he was a general philo 
sopher and not a psychologist, he nevertheless worked 
out his philosophy in a psychological spirit. He started 
from the psychologist s point of view, with the notion of 
investigating mind in the same scientific way as Newton 
was investigating nature. This departure had an effect in 
the very next generation through Berkeley, who carried out 
special psychological investigation with surprising acuteness 
in his New Theory of Vision. Hume also, without putting 
forward any system of psychology, worked in a psychological 
spirit, and discussed particular psychological questions in 
a notable way, especially the laws of association as con 
taining an explanation of knowledge. Again, Hartley s 
work on Man is of the utmost importance for the so-called 
F 



66 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Associationist school, which in psychology tries to get a 
scientific doctrine of mind as such, and in philosophy tries 
to solve the general problem of knowledge in connexion 
with that scientific doctrine. 

Now it is usually said that Hume gave a great impulse to 
the English Associationist movement. My belief, on the con 
trary, is that James Mill had no special impulse from Hume. 
If he at all resembled the latter, it was because he started from 
a similar basis tending to similar conclusions. The origin 
of the later Associationists is in Hartley and not in Hume. 
Or, to put it more adequately, the origin of the present 
English school of the Mills is to be found in the trio, Locke, 
Berkeley, and Hartley, rather than in Hume 1 . Hartley 
expressly connected himself with Locke, as Berkeley did. 
Hume expressly connected himself with Berkeley. We may 
tabulate them thus : 



Locke 
1 


Hartley 
James Mill 




Berkeley 
Hume 



Hartley needs to be connected with Berkeley, though he 
did not expressly borrow from him. 

James Mill s direct descendant is Professor Bain, not 
John Stuart Mill, who follows somewhat more in the 
philosophical wake of Hume. Hartley had a philosophy, 
but not an effective one ; he shone as a psychologist. 
J. S. Mill is, nevertheless, connected with Hartley through 
his father. 

Locke s central idea, viz. that the limits of our knowing 

1 Vide J. S. Mill s introduction to J. Mill s Analysis of the Human 
Mind. 



VIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 67 

faculty, in regard to the nature and the validity of our 
knowledge, are only to be understood in reference to a 
psychological analysis, was introduced into France, together 
with the Newtonian philosophy of nature, by Voltaire about 
1730, supplanting the Cartesian philosophy in both meta- 
physic and science. Condillac (1715-1780) and Destutt de 
Tracy (1754-1836), chief among French Sensationalists, 
greatly affected the Scottish thinker, Thomas Brown. Brown 
contributed the most important discussion prior to Professor 
Bain of the part played by muscular sense in objective 
perception, and still holds the second place. 

Of present-day Associationists, Mr. Herbert Spencer is 
chiefly concerned with a philosophy of evolution on a basis 
of biological principles. An Experientialist, he approximates 
as closely to the Rationalist border by allowing non- 
experiential elements in knowledge as Kant did from the 
Rationalist side in the other direction. Mr. Spencer himself 
claims to be just on the border. Many think he unites the 
two sides. Kant, however, laid claim to a similar position, 
and yet was very distinct from Mr. Spencer. 



For LECTURE VIII read Bain, Mental Science, App. A. to p. 26. 



F 2 



LECTURE VIII. 

UNIVERSALS. 
Why Scholasticism was mainly occupied with Universaha. 

WE are now in a position to inquire more closely into 
those great special questions raised by philosophic thought 
which I enumerated at the close of Lecture III. 

From Descartes onward the great question of philosophy 
has been as to the relation of reason and experience in 
knowledge. Now, Plato and Aristotle (who practically 
represent ancient epistemology in the West) were interested 
both in this problem and in that of the universality of 
knowledge, while during the whole of the middle period the 
central question of philosophy was not so much the former 
as that of the relation between the universal and the particular 
in knowledge. The more modern question is, after all, the 
same as the latter, but in another form and with a difference 
of emphasis ; experience is experience of particulars, while 
reason is concerned with universals. 

Why, then, does only one of the two questions occupy 
the thought of the Middle Period? The fact is that both 
the middle and modern periods were occupied with both 
questions, or with these two aspects of the more general 
question, viz. as to the import of human knowledge ; but the 



Elements of General Philosophy. 69 

thought of men in the Middle Ages had been directed to the 
aspect of the universality of knowledge by an accidental 
circumstance. This circumstance (v. Bain, App. pp. 23, 24 ; 
and supra, Lect. V) was that one portion of Porphyry s 
Isagoge, containing an introduction to the Categories of 
Aristotle, was preserved in translation during the early 
Middle Ages, whereas it was not till the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries that the Schoolmen had a complete translation of 
Aristotle s works. Now this fragment suggested the question 
of the relation of different general notions to one another, and 
hence it came about that this aspect of knowledge occupied 
philosophers predominantly down to the end of the Scholastic 
period, till every side of the question had been touched upon 
and they had come to practical agreement. Modern philo 
sophy also agrees in the main upon the subject, although it 
was bound in its turn to reconsider it. The difference 
in modern times is regarding the psychological question. 

Concept Psychologically and Philosophically regarded. 

We have distinguished knowledge psychologically regarded 
from knowledge philosophically regarded. Let us now mark 
off the psychological bearing of knowledge as universal or 
general from the philosophical aspect. General intellection, 
knowing, or cognition we dealt with under thought or con 
ception (in the wider sense), and for the product of conception 
we used the term concept. And the psychological question 
of the concept became for us, How do we come to know 
generally? How do we arrive, i.e. under what laws of 
mental action do we arrive, at that kind of knowledge which 
we call conceptual ? Conceiving (Elements of Psychology, 
Lect. XXV, XXVI) arises under certain psychological 
laws out of historically prior intellectual products. Now of 



70 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

these the percept has corresponding to it an objective thing 
at least, we assume that it has and some images also have 
a corresponding reality in the realm of being, in so far as 
they are literal re-percepts, while some again have not. But 
our question now is, Has the concept a corresponding reality? 
Is there, for instance, a real being to correspond to the concept 
man ? Mill calls man concrete ; is it as concrete as this 
man ? No, we cannot generalise save by abstracting, and 
man is abstract as involving generalisation. What then 
does this abstract generalisation or Universal portend in the 
sphere of being? Is it a mere subjective construction, or 
does the concept represent reality ? What is the relation of 
man the universal to this man or that man/ of the 
General to the Particular, of the One to the Many, of in 
dividual changing things to the whole universe ? Which has 
reality ? If only 

The One remains, the many change and pass ; 

as Shelley sang 1 , the question arises, Do the Many exist 
at all? 

Platonic Realism. 

Now this question, applied by Schoolmen to religious tenets, 
had been rationally discussed by Plato, who probed the matter 
deeper than any before him. By Platonic Realism is meant 
Plato s doctrine of the relation of the One to the Many, of the 
Universal to the Particular. His standpoint was a develop 
ment of the question as faced by Socrates. Socrates saw 
that human knowledge is mainly knowing by way of con 
cepts, and his philosophy was summed up in efforts at 
getting clear general notions. We arrive at knowledge on 
a large scale only through the conceptual form ; only thus 

1 Elegy to Keats. 



VIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 71 

can we bring together experience as knowledge. If we know 
for the most part by way of concepts, if all that we can call 
scientific knowledge is conceptual, i.e. is knowledge of classes 
or kinds, then the question arises whether that which we 
know in the form of concepts or ideas does not represent 
reality, or that which truly is. Thus Plato, following his 
master s line and holding that knowledge properly so called 
is of ideas only, declared that therefore ideas and nought else 
are what really exist, and that, by comparison with the ideas, 
known and really existing, anything that we commonly speak 
of as particular things things of sense have, in the full 
sense of the word, no reality, and are only pale shadows of 
real existence. So far from asking, as might in these times 
of a developed psychology be asked, whether anything corre 
sponded to the concept objectively in the same sense as is 
assumed in the case of the percept, Plato maintained that 
it was the concepts, general notions or ideas, that are the 
only real beings, and not so-called individuals. Table/ for 
example, exists ; individual tables are mere passing shows, 
while the idea table exists really and eternally. If any 
one gets a true knowledge of table it is not by way of sense, 
but by a reminiscence of a former mental life. Tables this 
table, that table did not exist yesterday, will not exist to 
morrow. But table was before all tables, and will be after 
all tables. In other words, the particulars of sense, whether 
considered separately or brought together in an aggregate or 
class, do not really, fully exist. That only can be said really 
and fully to exist which is THOUGHT. 

Platonic Idealism. 

This theory viz. to repeat, that if it is the idea (universal or 
general notion) which we are dealing with when we really know, 



72 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

then it is the idea only that really exists is logically possible 
on the ground it assumes, and marks a special type of mind. 
In the Middle Ages it came to be called by the Schoolmen, 
who were great masters of nomenclature, the doctrine of 
Realism. Plato s expression of this view has never been 
surpassed, and never will be. But if he is the greatest of 
Realists in this the original sense of the term, he none the 
less remains the typical Idealist in any sense and for all time. 
For Platonic Realism and Platonic Idealism are one and the 
same doctrine, Plato being a Realist because of the reality he 
ascribed to ideas, and an Idealist because it is ideas to which 
he ascribed reality. He is not the one to the exclusion of 
the other, unless indeed we attach to Realism and Idealism 
the meaning they have come to bear in modern times as 
opposite theories of our perception of an external world 1 . 
In that case Plato ceases to be a Realist, and is a pure 
Idealist. In the question of universals, Realism is only 
another aspect of the more general Idealism. 

Aristotelian Realism. 

What, then, is the antithesis to Realism in its original sense ? 
The theory which in Aristotle took shape as a doctrine of 
essence, and which became divided against itself as the con 
trasted theories of Conceptualism and Nominalism (names 
which are also derived from the nomenclature of Scholasticism), 
scarcely constitutes an antithesis. Aristotle broke away from 
the Realism of his master by declaring that particular things 
have a real existence, but neither they nor universals exist 
independently of each other ; the universal exists in the 

1 The student must not confound the philosophical connotations 
of these terms with their modern usage in artistic and literary 
criticism. ED. 



VIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 73 

particular as its essence. He may thus be considered as 
a modified Realist. He began by saying that all things 
which can be thought of or predicated can be brought to ten 
classes or categories of concepts. But only the first, Sub 
stance (ouo-i a), can be the subject of predication. Quantity, 
Quality, and the other seven attributes do not exist in the 
same sense as Substance. Now we can only predicate exist 
ence of a concrete thing, not of an idea. Here he seems to 
deny reality to the concept. But he further distinguishes 
between a first and a second substance, the first applicable to 
a concrete thing of sense which, informed by its universal 
essence, really and fully exists, and is the subject of a pro 
position ; the second, indicating the general concrete, may be 
subject or predicate. E. g. 

Socrates is a man. 

(ist Substance) (2nd Substance) 

Man is mortal. 

In this way existence can be predicated of concept. In 
dividual things are substance in the full sense; in essence 
they are universals. But abstractions have no real existence. 

Universalia post rem, 

\ Plato s position of extreme Realism being summed up in 
the scholastic formula, Universalia ante rem (res thing of 
sense), and Aristotle s modified Realism being described as 
Universalia in re, the antithesis to Realism for which there is 
no inclusive name is best brought out in the corresponding 
formula, Universalia post rem ; i. e. it is only from a know 
ledge of things in particular that we come to know universals, 
in other words, to form the merely subjective constructions 
termed concepts, abstract ideas or general notions. Only 



74 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

particular things exist ; the universal is a mere instrument of 
thought for getting at a knowledge of particulars. This was 
the theory of Epicureans and Stoics. 

But, as I have indicated, the formula was interpreted in 
two ways. When, in the first age of the Schoolmen, Platonic 
Realism was rampant, an extreme form of Nominalism, 
viz. that the general thought or universal is a name and 
nothing else (vox et praeterea nihil\ was contended for by 
Roscellin. We cannot think generally without the help of 
names ; what, then, is the universal but a name (nomen) ? This 
in fact was the anti-Realism of the Stoics and Epicureans. 
Later, in the thirteenth century, when Scholasticism was at its 
height, the predominant Aristotelian Realism shaded off into 
Conceptualism, viz. that the universal was not a mere word 
(flatus vocis] but a mode of human cognition, though formed 
from and after the perception of particulars. This was 
coupled with the doctrine of essences, of universalia in re. 
Some indeed tried to reconcile Platonic Realism with it 
also by the theory of the real existence of universals in the 
divine mind. When, however, Scholasticism was dying, 
William of Ockham (a village in Surrey) gave a very decided 
expression to Nominalism as opposed to Conceptualism, 
maintaining that the mind arrives at universals through the 
use of words. And at the end of the Scholastic period the 
chief thinkers were declared Nominalists. 

Harmony between Science and Philosophy, 

After two centuries of transition the foremost minds of the 
seventeenth century, Descartes, for example, turned their at 
tention to physical nature and helped to create modern science. 
Now the modern science of nature is based on a philosophical 
view that is antithetic to the Platonic theory. Realism has 



VIIL ] Elements of General Philosophy. 75 

never regained its importance in the modern period ; it was 
practically overthrown by the growth of positive science. Or 
we may say that modern science has sprung up because the 
philosophical problem of Realism was fought out. The 
Realist despises the things of sense as vain shows with no 
reality. The man of science says they do exist and are worth 
investigating. With Conceptualism and Nominalism, on the 
other hand, modern science can get on ; they in fact attuned 
men s minds for scientific research, which goes on the 
assumption that it is the particular things which really exist, 
works up from particulars to universals, and refuses to re 
cognise the truth of universals without verifying by particulars. 
Any one may now be a Platonic Realist, but he must then 
give up the modern science of nature. In fact there always 
have been Realists and always will be. It was a mistake for 
Mill to speak of Realism as exploded (in his Examination of 
Hamilton s Philosophy]. Carlyle was a Realist ; so also is 
Ruskin great men, though not philosophers. And the 
standpoint, consistently developed, leads to an ascetic doctrine 
of morals. Carlyle and Ruskin recognise the hostility 
between modern science and Platonism, and this is why they 
decry the former. Carlyle hated science, but he excepted 
mathematics, as did Plato, who said that if a man could not 
geometrise he could not philosophise. From their point of 
view science cannot but be absurd. No Realist thinks it 
worth while to treat of physics and chemistry. If a man 
prefers to live in the contemplation of Eternal Ideas, this 
in its way is very good. Theologically such a one will be 
a Pantheist. But if he would rise to something worth calling 
knowledge of nature, the right way is that of positive science, 
with its Inductive Method of working up to general expressions 
from particulars. Positive science is not all-sufficient for the 



76 Elements of General Philosophy. 

inquiring mind, and should be supplemented by a philosophy 
not inconsistent with it. But Realism is inconsistent with 
science. No person who is at heart a Realist can have that 
kind of interest in particular things upon which thorough 
going science rests. In external nature we must start from 
the concrete particular ; hence we have in the modern period 
an anti-Realistic philosophy, instead of an antagonism between 
our philosophy and our science. 



For LECTURE IX read Bain, loc. cit. pp. 26-33. 



LECTURE IX. 

UNIVERSALS. NOMINALISM AND CONCEPTUALISM. 

Res as real. 

MODERN philosophy then, as being in the main concordant 
with modern science, is anti-Realistic, or, in the wider sense 
of the word, Nominalistic. Philosophy for the most part, 
and especially English philosophy, has assumed that the 
Platonic doctrine is untenable, and that some form of the 
antithesis, that it is particular things which really exist, 
must be accepted. Thus in modern times the conflict has 
been narrowed to the opposition between Nominalism and 
Conceptualism. The great question now became Under 
what conditions does the human mind conceive ? What con 
stitutes thinking as opposed to other modes of intellection ? 

The Ground of the Problem shifted. 

Note that the problem has been shifted from metaphysical 
to psychological ground. It is no longer a question of what 
may be said really to exist. Conceptualists and Nominalists 
agree in declaring that the universal has only a subjective 
existence, that the concept has no objective existence like 
the percept, but is only arrived at in the mind with a view 
to the understanding of the particulars. This is the anti- 
Realistic metaphysic of their position. But if we would 
give any more positive assertion about them, we must do so 



78 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

in psychological terms. The difference between them is 
psychological only, and it has played an important part in 
modern psychology. In England, where, from the time of 
Locke, the psychological interest began to prevail and where 
psychology first assumed a scientific form, that difference has 
been much discussed. Not so abroad. Hamilton, it is true, 
made light of the difference, but then his psychology is 
decidedly weak. 

Nominalism in England. 

The general train of English thought has been in the 
direction of Nominalism. Now the thorough-going Nomina 
list says two things: (i) that it is impossible to think 
generally without language; (2) that the mind can only 
represent the concrete particular as such. Hobbes makes 
both these statements ; Berkeley, only the second ; neverthe 
less he as well as Hume and the Mills are distinctly 
Nominalists, though in different senses. Hobbes seems to 
say that thought is expression in words and nothing else. 
Still he is not far wrong. It is since his time that the 
importance of language in the function of conceiving has 
been emphasised. Locke, in the immortal third Book of 
his Essay, is strongly Nominalistic and impressed with the 
necessity of language. In Book IV, however, he shows a 
strong Conceptualistic vein, maintaining that we can think 
of triangle which is not isosceles, nor equilateral, nor 
scalene. (This Berkeley denies.) But this Conceptualism 
of Locke s is probably only a bad way of distinguishing the 
intension from the extension of the concept. Because 
1 triangle ex tends to all three, no one of the three particulars 
therefore enters into the zwtension of triangle. He con 
fuses the abstract with the general. 

The Scottish school, on the other hand, is more Con- 



ix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 79 

ceptualistic than the English, Dugald Stewart less so than 
others. Reid is Conceptualistic. Hamilton s logic is dis 
tinctly Conceptualistic, yet in the lectures on metaphysic he 
adopts Berkeley s view. Hamilton, however, does not so 
much give his own thinking as get it from certain German 
authorities. 

The Mills, I have said, are Nominalists ; so is Professor 
Bain. Taine s chapter on the Concept is the best state 
ment of good Nominalistic doctrine (see his Intelligence]. 

The Ground of Difference. 

The Conceptualists say that the concept is as truly 
a definite fact of mental construction, an actual subjective 
somewhat that can be called a representation, as is the 
percept. Whereas, according to all Nominalists, conceiving 
is either bringing up a number of particulars one after 
another, i.e. having a series of percepts, or else we are, 
when conceiving, only imaging a particular percept, while 
leaving out of sight the individual particulars. 

There are Concepts and Concepts. 

But Conceptualists and Nominalists both err in trying to 
find one uniform expression for a very graduated aggregate. 
Concepts vary so much in the scale of abstractness (cf. tiger/ 
< iron, father/ nation ) that it is hopeless to attempt any 
uniform representation to suit all. The concept is not 
a collection, nor a series, of particular images. The concept 
sheep is not a flock of sheep. Just as we distinguish 
between the collective and the general, so we must distin 
guish between the concept and a series of percepts. The 
former is a means of bringing together a multitude otherwise 
than as a series, and will vary in definiteness according to 
the degree of abstractness. In the case of exactly similar 



8o Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

objects the concept abstracts from the differences in time 
and space only. Generic images represent the truth about 
those concepts where the similarity is very overpowering. 
Sometimes, finally, conceiving proceeds by way of symbols ; 
i. e. there are concepts of which we have no image unless 
it be of particulars in succession, and between which the 
likeness is fixed by a word. We use names of course for 
individuals as well as for concepts ; indeed, we do not know 
a thing fully till we know its name. But it is remarkable 
that when a name is a mere adjunct it is apt to be forgotten ; 
but where a conception, e.g. of justice, depends, for any 
coherence and definiteness it may possess, upon having 
a name, we do not forget it. 

A case of pathology throws light here. Some forms of 
organic decay are connected with a disturbance of the faculty 
of speech, or aphasia. And instances of this occur where 
the intellectual powers are very little affected. The patient, 
e. g. is able to speak in general language, but forgets the 
names of particular kinds of things. Emerson in his last 
years was subject to this. Words like table and hat he 
could not recollect, but he was quite able to substitute more 
general expressions, e. g. Put the kind of thing that covers 
head on to the surface that has legs/ Names of definite 
concretes were forgotten where abstract terms were still 
within his power. Why? Because for his knowledge of the 
former he was not dependent upon language. To express 
the relation he did need language ; he had not lost speech 
where it was indispensable. 

The two Types of Nominalism. 

Now there are Nominalists and Nominalists. Berkeley, 
for example, is merely anti-Conceptualistic, and owes his 



LECTURE XL 

THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. BEFORE LOCKE. 

The Objectivity of Knowledge. 

BELIEF and knowledge then are conceptions that are 
closely intertwined, and the difference between them is one 
of degree, or lies in the way of looking at the same fact. 
Let us now see how the whole question has been faced by 
philosophers; what it is that the problem of knowledge 
involves. It is a subject that appeals most generally to our 
interest, and it is suggested by our previous psychology. 

Knowledge, as involving more than mere intellection, is 
a coherent system which we call real, fact, objectively valid. 
I want to bring prominently forward this Objectivity of 
Knowledge. The word objective in philosophy is taken 
in a wider sense than in psychology, where it is the adjective 
of the perceived object; here it applies to all real, valid 
knowledge, whether of sense-objects or no. All objects 
indeed can be shown to be ultimately objects perceived by 
sense, but we are now concerned with objective as applied 
to that knowledge which is valid for the consciousness of all, 
not only for mine but also for that of every one. I know 
that 2 x 2 = 4, that the earth attracts stones, that every effect 
has a cause : these are cognitions and objectively valid, yet 

H 



98 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

not sense-objects ; I do not say, without relation to sense at 
all, but not involving sense as such. Something may be 
a fact about a particular object or not a fact, but as fact it 
must hold for all. Do I know objectively ? Then I must so 
think that you can think it too. I know nothing really unless 
I can show that you are capable of knowing it as well as I. 
We must not imagine there is any objectivity without a 
subject; knowledge always involves a knower ; still it is 
possible for me to put together in my mind a synthesis which 
will not hold good for any but myself; but then I cannot give 
grounds for it to other people, so that it has no objective 
validity. Suppose I said, The effect always goes before its 
caus e this would be an example of a cognition lacking 
objective validity \ No account which fails to bring forward 
this aspect of knowledge grapples with the question of the 
nature of knowledge ; it may contain good psychology, but 
it must fall short in philosophy. 

How the Problem has been met. 

We see, however, that if we have to find subjective repre 
sentations which can be set forth in such a way as to appeal 
to all consciousnesses, it is not an easy task. All earnest 
philosophers have faced it, and I want now to give a notion 
of how, from different points of view, this definition of the 
conditions of knowledge has been met. This fact constitutes 
the central problem that knowledge is so held that other 
minds are viewed as participating in it, and that it is com 
municable to others. Distinctively intellectual philosophy 
has always been concerned with the problem, meeting it for 

1 Cf. Bain, p. 201, sec. 7. That which he here gives as the 
distinctive feature of perception of a sense-object applies equally well 
to all objective knowledge. 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. 99 

the most part from the side of the chief factor or factors in 
knowledge. 

Here we are at once confronted by our antithesis of 
Rationalism and Experientialism, or Sensationalism as, in 
its first form, the latter doctrine may be called. According 
to the former, knowledge is wholly explicable from Intellect 
or Reason (vovs); according to the latter, knowledge is 
wholly explicable from Sense or Sense-experience. And 
according to a third position knowledge is explicable from 
both. 

The antithesis to the word Rationalism in the fullest sense 
is given by the word Sensationalism. If Rationalism is the 
doctrine of reason, which is one kind of mental function, 
Sensationalism is the doctrine of sensation, another kind 
of mental function. Again, experience may mean bare 
sense-experience, or sense ordered by reason or intellect to 
form knowledge. Nevertheless Experientialism is on the 
whole the more accurate term, since no theory of knowledge 
was ever pure Sensationalism. 

Plato s Rationalism. 

Plato naturally took the extreme doctrine of Intellectualism, 
or Rationalism. Sense, he said, is only a hindrance to 
knowledge ; knowledge involves an ignoring of sense. Know 
ledge is the grasping of ideas with the intellect which never 
were in sense, were never got from sense, and which therefore 
the mind must have brought with it ; it consists in the mind s 
possession of innate ideas originally. (He does not use the 
word innate/ but he teaches the doctrine.) Plato was 
a poet as well as a philosopher, and clothed his philosophical 
ideas in poetical form. Mythically sometimes and mystically 
always he expresses the doctrine of knowledge as reminiscence 

H 2 



ioo Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

of ideas not formed from sense, but brought from a state of 
prior existence. In a previous existence men had converse 
with Ideas. Now they see through a glass darkly, but there 
was a time, and again will be, when, freed from matter or 
sense, man will see face to face. Plato s theory of knowledge, 
then, is a general negation of the import of sense is a 
denial that sense can be sublimated into knowledge. 

This tendency has been reproduced throughout the history 
of thought, especially at the beginning of the modern period. 
Descartes, though he takes sense as a factor of human being, 
seeks to explain knowledge out of relation to sense, and 
considers it apart from sense. With Rationalists first and 
last the burden of the story has been that in knowledge there 
is obviously something that sense can give no account of 
that there are in it notions out of all relation to sense, as for 
instance * Cause/ Here is a notion necessary to our know 
ledge, yet do any of our senses give us an idea of cause as 
cause ? Obviously not, yet we know what cause is. Sub 
stance is another such notion. We come to know "by sense 
this, that, or the other affection which objects are said to 
cause in us; but how do we come to know substance as 
something seemingly apart from us ? 

Hence it was that Plato looked for some other source to 
explain knowledge, and found one so fruitful that he denied 
the value of sense. This source was Reason. Reason knows 
by way of ideas, and as there was no possible account he 
could give of how these ideas arose in us, he did not hesitate 
to imagine that we are carrying on in this life a life that has 
been begun before, and in a previous stage of which we got 
our ideas. How much of this was philosophy, how much 
only poetry, it is hard to say ; but we get out of the Dialogues 
a positive doctrine of Innate Ideas, viz. that the mind comes 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. 101 

into the world with a certain means of knowing in its original 
constitution. /, according to this view, supply for myself the 
idea of cause by the constitution of my mind. 

Aristotle as Conciliator. 

In Plato s time the opposite doctrine had already sprung 
up, viz. that knowledge is only sense transformed. Later on 
this found pronounced upholders in the Epicureans, the 
Stoics and some of the Sceptics. To a certain extent this 
antithesis was represented and headed by Aristotle, yet not in 
extreme opposition. He occupied a middle ground, acting as 
a kind of conciliator between the Platonic doctrine and 
Experientialism. Never one-sided, he saw the truth in both 
aspects ; hence his great influence on succeeding ages. Those 
have judged him superficially who, with Coleridge, have said 
that every man is a Platonist or an Aristotelian. The 
expression that mind is a smooth tablet or tabula rasa occurs 
in Aristotle \ but he is no Sensationalist. He does not say 
that knowledge can be explained from sense, but he does 
say that it cannot be explained without reference to sense. 
Neither is it possible to make him out to be an Experientialist 
of the modern type, as Grote does. There are passages in 
Aristotle which must be interpreted as implying independence 
in the intellect as a factor of knowledge. By likening the 
mind to a tablet written on by experience he meant only that 
the Nous was not a fixed body of innate principles, but 
something potential which can be developed by way of 
experiential realisation. We are provided with such con 
ditions of thought as will enable us to frame ideas in 

1 De Anima, Bk. Ill, ch. iv : We must suppose, in short, that the 
process of thought is like that of writing on a writing-tablet on which 
nothing is yet actually written. (E. Wallace s transl.) Infra, p. 230. 



102 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

connexion with the gradual growth of our experience x . It 
is surprising how Aristotle had begun to conceive how sense 
becomes worked up by certain definite laws into those cogni 
tions which seem furthest removed from sense. 

Scholastic Rationalism. 

Most of the Schoolmen, as we have seen, followed Aristotle, 
but assigned perhaps greater predominance than he did 
to the intellectual factor, and were apt to bring in innate 
ideas/ Some were pure Intellectualists, declaring sense to 
be of no account for knowledge. The greatest of them, 
Aquinas, contended for the importance of sense, but he too 
admitted innate ideas as co-factors in knowledge. 

Bacon outside the Controversy. 

Bacon is of no importance for this question. He is a 
methodologist. He sought for a method of discovery, but 
prefaced it by no psychological or critical investigation (I use 
critical here in the Kantian sense), nor did he view the 
question from the subjective point of view as Descartes did. 
Had he gone into the question, he must have been a 
Sensationalist. He speaks of sense as a source of knowledge, 
but he was no metaphysician. 

Cartesian Rationalism. 

Descartes was more of a metaphysician than a theorist of 
knowledge. He made no attempt to give a detailed theory 
of knowledge, nevertheless the philosophical position he took 
up has influenced thought till the present day. To him as 
to Plato sense is the antithesis of knowledge, and is to be 
discounted and banned as an illusion and a show. He fell 
back upon the doctrine that we have innate ideas of God, 

1 De An. Bk. Ill, ch. iii. 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. 103 

substance, cause, &c., and interpreted it in a definite way. 
As a discoverer in mathematics and physics, Descartes came 
to terms with sense. As a metaphysician he revived and 
maintained the pre-existing doctrine of Innate Ideas, though 
in later life he modified it. He distinguished in all mental 
states three classes of ideas : (i) Innate, (2) Adventitious, and 
(3) Factitious or Imaginary Ideas. The last involve a definite 
mental construction that can be traced. Adventitious 
ideas come by way of sense. But he insists that there 
are certain definite concepts or notions which are in no 
respect adventitious, but are imprinted on the mind from 
the first as part of its original constitution. Chief among 
these is the idea of God. On this idea he lays great stress ; 
it plays an important part in his whole philosophy. We 
know what we mean when we use such a term, yet the idea 
involves no element of sense. 

Intuition and Idea in Descartes. 

Another word which Descartes is more especially inclined 
to use is Intuition. Whenever the knowledge which he 
cannot conceive to come by way of sense assumes the form 
of propositions, of the truth of which we are absolutely sure, 
he uses this term. Through his initiative it has come to be 
more and more opposed to sense-experience, and thus 
diverted from its original meaning of inspection, vision, direct 
apprehension, such as we have in sense. Some philosophers 
distinguish between pure and empirical intuition, the 
latter expressing the original meaning. We shall revert to 
this in dealing with Kant. The student, by the way, should 
avoid confounding intuition with instinct the primitive 
power of conceiving and judging with the primitive tendency 
or ability to perform certain acts, unlearned action, or action 



104 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

prompted by knowledge that is not got by experience. There 
is a relation between the two ; intuitions may involve activities ; 
instincts may be used with reference to the unlearned know 
ledge rather than the actions; but there is an approach to 
a philosophic Malapropism in an indiscriminate use of the 
terms. 

Descartes use of the term idea is wider than that of 
Plato; he applies it to any kind of conscious experience. 
(His use of thought (pense e) is similar.) He even uses 
idea for the nervous process accompanying sense-expe 
rience. It is only since Hume, who contrasts impressions 
and ideas/ that the latter much-abused term has been 
restricted to a synonym for representative consciousness. 

Cartesianism modified already in Descartes. 

Descartes then admitted that sense was a mode of mental 
experience which the philosopher must account for as entering 
into some cognitions, viz. Adventitious Ideas ; but he had to 
assume other elements, viz. Innate Ideas, or Intuitions, 
according as he referred to their primitive character, or to 
the immediate certitude characterising them. Extension, 
Number, are for him innate ideas. I am a thinking being is 
a fundamental intuition ; so is Out of nothing nothing can 
come/ and A cause must contain at least as much reality 
as its effect. We have no sensation of extension, but we 
interpret our sense-affections as coming from an extended 
thing by means of our idea of extension. To the question, 
What guarantee have we that the idea has objective validity ? 
he answered, The existence of a veracious God, incapable 
of deceiving us. And to that of How is the mind cognisant 
of these ideas ? he said, Mind is a being constantly con 
sciously thinking. When pushed into a corner by the 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. 105 

objection that, if such ideas are innate, children ought to be 
more conscious of them than adults, he modified his position 
by saying that the mind has predispositions to innate ideas. 
His Innate theory is really a protest against the Sensa 
tionalist position a protest with which as such I agree and 
will not bear direct setting out here. 

* Lockers Experientialism. 

Locke, who really began the English philosophic move 
ment, thinks in relation to Descartes, though he generally 
opposes him. The first book of his Essay is devoted to a 
hostile criticism of the doctrine of Innate Ideas, all know 
ledge being traced from experience. Here then is a distinct 
counter-assertion. Instead of the assertion that the nature 



and community of knowledge are inexplicable save5y~~way 
of ideas implanted in the mind, arTd in all minds alike, 
together with a theory as to the import of this innate knowing 
with respect to all minds, a theory in short of the objectivity 
of knowledge, we have the opposite view, that the mind 
comes into the world devoid of ideas or of any original 
means of interpreting experience, analogous in fact to a wax 
tablet ready for the stylus that is to say, with a capacity for 
receiving impressions and with nothing more. Knowledge 
is that which arises in the mind as the result of the im 
pressions imparted by experience. 

It was Locke who objected that if there were innate ideas 
and principles (intuitions in the form of propositions), then, 
according to Descartes axiom, that mind does not exist to 
the extent that it does not think, every one, but especially 
children, would be always conscious of them ; whereas such 
is not the case; indeed it would seem that none but 
Cartesian philosophers were conscious of some of Descartes 



io6 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

innate ideas ! Locke probably did not know, when he wrote, 
how Descartes had (in a letter) modified his theory by 
admitting predispositions. But Locke used the figure of the 
tabula rasa * in a much more dogmatic sense than Aristotle. 
The notion, on Locke s own line, has long been abandoned. 

It must not, however, be supposed that Locke by the 
metaphor meant to exclude natural faculties 2 or natui 
tendencies imprinted in the minds of men 3 . It is merely hfe 
strong way of saying that without actual experience (eittter 
that which comes by way of the senses or that which he 
calls Reflection ) there comes to pass nothing of what we 
call knowledge. In this point of view he need not be 
supposed to exclude anything that later inquirers contend 
for under the head of Inherited Predisposition. He does 
riot assert that all tablets alike may be indifferently written 
upon, or, on the other hand, deny that all human minds are 
fitted to receive impressions in certain like ways. He may 
however be charged, by his way of putting the case, with 
throwing out of view this important element of a complete 
theory of knowledge, viz. that there is a certain common 
limit of knowing for the race and a certain personal range 
for the individual, both predetermined in a manner that 
admits of investigation (whether by Kant s way of analysis 
or by the evolutionist historic procedure). 

Locke s whole case against innate knowledge has reference 
to the supposed universal consent respecting it in all men 
and its express manifestation in the consciousness of each. 
He seeks to show that no principle, speculative or practical, 
that has ever been held innate, is as a matter of fact 
expressly recognised and allowed for by all mankind, as 

1 Essay, Bk. II, ch. i. 2. 
2 Ibid. I, ii. i. 3 Ibid. I, iii. 3. 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. 107 

it must be if innate. The uniformity of knowledge in 
different men, so far as it exists, he explains by their being 
exposed to the same experience, by their having the same 
natural faculties/ and by their communication with one 
another 1 . Thus he does not wholly overlook the influence 
of the social relation. 

Whatever may be said of Locke s polemic against innate 
knowledge however he fails to see what really was contended 
for under that shibboleth (viz. that the fabric of knowledge, 
for any mind, is never explicable from incidental experience 
simply) it must be pronounced good and possible against 
the doctrine as it had till then been maintained; and this 
is shown by the necessity laid upon Leibniz to shift ground 
and maintain the position in quite a new way. Thus a real 
advance in philosophy was rendered necessary. 

Subsequent Mutual Convergence. 

While Descartes maintained the extreme position of 
Rationalism, and while we appear to find an extreme counter- 
assertion of Sensationalism by Locke, what we discover 
on tracing the course of subsequent philosophy is mainly in 
the way of reconciliation and mutual approximation. The 
Rationalists recognise sense as an indispensable factor of 
what we call knowledge, the Sensationalists meanwhile pro 
gressively deepen and broaden their conception of what 
enters into or is experience. The dogmatic assertion of 
innate ideas died slain by Locke s Essay, or at least it only 
lingered on here and there down to our own times. Leibniz, 
who was most distinctly a Rationalist, finding knowledge in 
explicable from anything we can call external experience, 
never asserted that the mind comes into the world with innate 

1 See especially Essay I, iii. 22 if. 



io8 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

ideas, but declared it has only predispositions, aptitudes, as 
means of interpreting what comes to it by way of sense a 
notion which shows a distinct advance towards an appreciation 
of the other side. Ideas were only implicit in the infant mind 
as a statue of Hercules might be said to be implicit in a 
block of marble. Leibniz s theory of what really enters into 
knowledge was based on his theory of substance. Descartes 
had expressed the distinction between mind and matter as 
between substances the whole character of which can be 
expressed in thinking, and substances the whole character of 
which can be expressed in extension. Leibniz gave up this 
dualism, and allowed the existence of one substance only, the 
reality of which lay neither in thinking nor in extension. 
Trying to get a word deeper than either, he called the ground 
of its reality active force, and the one substance a system of 
monads, or mental unitary beings. Not all have a self-con 
scious existence, and those which have do not have it at every 
moment of their existence. Mind appears at different grades 
throughout the universe, from the Deity down to inanimate 
objects appears, that is to say, as capable of all degrees of 
subjective apprehension, from full self-conscious apperception 
to semi- or sub- consciousness and down to unconsciousness. 
Hence arose the theory of latent mental modifications, 
springing originally from Locke s objection to Descartes 
definition of mind as something constantly self-conscious. 

Leibniz and Locke. 

In defining his own theory of knowledge, Leibniz took up 
the formula of the Sensationalists : Nihil est in intellectu quod 
non prius fuerit in sensu, and gave it a turn noteworthy and 
original by adding nisi ipse intellectus. Except the intellect 
itself. 5 By this alone, he claimed, do we possess necessary 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. 109 

knowledge, necessary truth. Some truths are merely truths of 
fact ; others are necessary truths. We know sometimes that 
S is P/ but sometimes we know that S must be P. And 
he said, as against Locke, that, while we can account for 
any mere assertion of fact from experience, to say that 
anything must be is not explicable from any kind of 
experience. Locke, on the other hand, with never so blank 
a tablet, found it necessary to assume beyond sense much 
else, which he called faculties of analysing, compounding, 
and the like. Experience for him was either external or 
internal, i.e. either Sense or Reflexion, meaning by Sense 
only the five passive senses, or modes of passive affection. 
What then is Reflexion ? Consciousness of the fact of 
perceiving, imagining, &c. To use modern phraseology 
there is an order of objective experience and an order of 
subjective experience : this expresses Locke s meaning. 
Knowledge, he found, was altogether made up by experience 
of Sense and Reflexion. But he has no definite idea how 
these come together and combine. Compared with Leibniz s 
profound psychological insight, Locke must be charged with 
superficiality, with inability to apprehend the complexity of 
the subject he sets himself to deal with. 

Leibniz, however, by reason of his metaphysical start, is 
in constant danger of diverting real psychological facts 
into supports for questionable metaphysical positions. The 
psychological fact that conscious life is composed of elements 
multitudinous in number and of every degree of intensity 
may be, should be, recognised quite apart from the meta 
physical hypothesis of monads. 

Leibniz, while he does not deny that, not only truths of 
fact, but even necessary truths come into conscious view 
only upon the occasions supplied by sense, is disposed to 



no Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

lay greater stress, for the explanation of knowledge, upon 
that which the mind must be in itself in order to be affected 
so. And as even the most occasional cognition may be 
viewed in relation to the mind s inherent capacity, he con 
tends for innate knowledge in a sense which, if it departs 
from the older view against which Locke contends, is not in 
the least excluded by anything that Locke advances. 

The Question advanced by a Step. 

Locke thus appears after all as a masked Rationalist. He 
merely opened up the Experientialist side of the question, 
and it might well be said that Leibniz was only giving a 
definite expression to Locke s implicit admission, when he 
insisted on intellects ipse as that which had not its origin 
in sense. It was impossible that the question could remain 
as Locke left it. Advance was necessary, or else a falling 
back on Descartes. 

When we come to Berkeley we shall see (infra, Lect. XVI) 
that his Principles are directed against Locke s dogmatising 
on matter. Still Locke it was who first began to transform 
Philosophy into_ Theory jrfJKnowledge. Philosophy^ with 
Descartes was Theory of Being ; with Locke it was so only 
secondarily! And more : his philosophy, if not psychologically 
biased] is at least penetrated through and through with the 
psychological spirit. In Descartes science we get some 
good physics, but of any psychological understanding we 
get next to no trace. Between his work on vision and that 
of Berkeley there is all the difference between fancy and 
science. What then enabled Berkeley in 1709 to do that 
which Descartes of far greater scientific and philosophical 
ability had been unable to do in 1637 ? I can assign no other 
reason than the appearance in 1690 of Locke s Essay. For 



XL] Elements of General Philosophy. in 

whatever Spinoza s influence on the time may have been, he 
had no influence upon Berkeley. 

Locke s ideas of Sense are crude, but he compelled all 
subsequent philosophy to admit that into the fabric of know 
ledge Sense enters as a distinct constituent, and that there is 
no explanation of knowledge possible which does not take 
account of Sense as a factor. What else there is in knowledge 
beside Sense philosophers have since sought to make out. 
The three chief verdicts are those of the Common Sense or 
Scottish School, the Critical School, and the Associationist 
School. These we will proceed to consider. 



For LECTURE XII read : 

Hamilton, Lectures on Metaphysics, XX and XXXVIII. 
Hamilton, Works of Reid, with Dissertations by Hamilton 
Note A, On the Philosophy of Common Sense. 



LECTURE XII. 

THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. AFTER LOCKE. 
Associationistn. 

THE Associationist doctrine has developed along two lines 
of thought, both of which may be said to have arisen in 
Locke one through Berkeley to Hume, the other through 
Hartley to the Mills. Its theory of knowledge is that know 
ledge is explicable from the elements of sense-experience 
united through the bonds (laws) of association, such con 
nexions being made within the life-experience of the 
individual. Knowledge is thus an individual construction, 
and is a compound resulting from the fusion, under certain 
laws, of sense-elements. It is the product of sense and 
association. An Associationist must maintain that there 
is nothing in the mind that could not be developed by the 
individual for himself. He may be helped to his special 
associations by others, but he could do it all for himself. 
This is the purest form of Experientialism. Locke himself 
was an Associationist, not explicitly but by implication. 
Associationists have not worked out a consistent Theory of 
Knowledge, but they do make a real attempt to begin at the 
beginning-. 



XIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 113 

Locke and Berkeley, 

Locke s ideas of sense and of the construction of knowledge 
are, as we have seen, very crude ; nevertheless he first opened 
the question of ^^psychological origin of knowledge. Berkeley, 
Locke s immediate successor, marks a distinct advance along 
this line. He began a definite psychological inquiry, while 
he also took a philosophical position in regard to the know 
ledge of matter, which is at least more circumspect than that 
of Locke. He based his philosophy on his psychology ; yet 
he was not set philosophising because he was a psychologist, 
but because, as a theologian, he wished to get rid of the, 
to him, pernicious effects of Materialism. Thenceforward 
philosophy and psychology really began to have a separate 
history. Berkeley got away from Locke s notion of the 
five senses as barely passive ; and further, he began that 
definite reference to a principle or principles of intellectual 
synthesis without which it is hopeless to explain knowledge. 
Associationism is traced to him though he does not use 
the word. His theory of knowledge bears more especially 
on our third problem the perception of an external world. 

Hume. 

Hume not only carried out further Locke s theory of 
knowledge, but put the question into such a shape as to 
rouse the strongest opposition and so bring about a great 
advance in thought. In regard to the cognition of extension, 
Hume is behind Berkeley and not superior to Locke. But 
he was beyond both in his statement of the formal principles 
of knowledge. He proceeds wholly upon Locke s individual 
istic view that there is nothing in the developed knowledge 
of any mind which is not explicable from the (incidental) 



ii4 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

experience of that mind ; and expresses this (by a modi 
fication of Locke s language) in the oft-repeated formula, 
that whenever we really have any idea there is some 
assignable impressionism wKicir~ir~ls derived of wmch 
it is the copy. By thus distinguishing idea from impression, 
he gives greater precision to the psychological data^which 
assumes in fffipmqn with T.nrltf>~ But further, when 
Locke, in order to account foflBe developed complex of 
knowledge, is content to assume faculties of abstracting, 
compounding and the like, Hume formulates^ definite 
principles of association under which the synthesis takes 
place": (i) Contiguity," (2) Similarity. (^V Association of 
Cause and Effect. He does not work out the last principle 
at all, nor the two others at all fully. But not in regard to 
these can we gauge the importance of Hume. There are 
two facts in cognition that he set himself to account for 
knowledge of substance and knowledge of causation. He 
was led to the question of cause from the prominence in 
modern science of the inquiry, What is the cause of what ? 
Berkeley already and the Cartesians before him (e. g. Male- 
branche) had seen that what science was concerned with was 
the establishment of uniformity in phenomena. But Hume 
went so far as to say, that if any p^ienomenon .is by_us con 
nected with any other, phenomenon inKature, it is because 
of the customary sequence of experience. A subjective bond-is 



thereby_established andji&z/M all, although.through ^.custom 
one phenomenon comes to be considered as the objective 
cause of the other. Thus he decries knowledge, at least 
from the Rationalist po|nXJ2f-Jziew. While his Treatise of 
Human Nature contains an almost complete theory of know 
ledge, while he vaguely but distinctly recognises intellectual 
elaboration of sense-data arranged by Abstraction/ he 







xii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 115 

stunned the philosophic mind of the century by showing 
that all previous investigation had, so to speak, led up to 
a dead wall that Locke s Experientialism, logically carried 
out, landed philosophy in scepticism. Besides his Individual 
ism, his Particularism (i.e. that everything complex or 
general has to be made out of particular elements) is very 
pronounced as put in the formula which he is constantly 
referring to : All ideas which are different are separable 
(i. e. have somehow to be brought together if they appear in 
one mature consciousness as conjoined). 

Hartley. 

Hume s contemporary, Hartley, was independent of him, 
but a follower of Locke. He was the first to formulate the 
law of Contiguous Association as accounting sufficiently, 
without other laws of association, for intellectual synthesis. 
Berkeley did not formulate any such laws ; Hume did, as 
we have seen, but he did not apply them. When later 
Associationists (the Mills and Professor Bain) faced the 
problem of knowledge, they worked with reference to Hartley 
and not to Hume s laws of association. Hartley was the 
first who distinctly asked how a multitude of sensations, 
which for us are discretes, come to be fused, or to coalesce 
into that coherent appearance of an object with a variety 
of qualities which expresses what our experience really is. 
It is, he said, by this one associative principle. Thinkers 
before him, from Aristotle onwards, had used association 
only in accounting for the imaginative life or representative 
experience. Hartley was the first to employ it in explaining 
the synthesis of sensations. He did not give a complete 
exposition of this theory, or analyse sufficiently the elements 
of sense, but he first started the Associationist method. 



I 2 



n6 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Brown. 

Thomas Brown was a strong Associationist, thinking with 
ultimate relation to Locke, but with modifications due to 
the influence of the French Sensationalists, Destutt de Tracy 
and others. They first laid hold decisively on muscular 
sense/ a discovery of great importance in philosophic theories 
of extension. To this subject Brown s lectures were largely 
devoted, and to it we shall return. Brown used Hartley s 
theory of association most earnestly, but was repelled by the 
latter s introduction of the physiological theory of vibrations. 

J. 5. Mill. 

It is John Stuart Mill and Professor Bain who, as inheritors 
of the Sensationalist tradition of the eighteenth century, have 
set up the formulated theory of knowledge, both psychological 
and philosophical, known as Associationism. The latter 
gives better data for a true theory, especially in regard to 
external perception; the former is the better systematiser. 
In my judgment their Associationism, while it is an approxi 
mation to a theory of knowledge, comes evidently short. 
However important are the factors brought out by Mill, he 
just fails to solve the problem. He declares that a number 
of the subjective experiences, had by an individual human 
being, become for him aggregated according to certain laws 
(of association), and that these aggregated appearances can 
come to assume the form of knowledge for the individual 
and since it is knowledge to be objective or valid for all. 
But it is just this last point that he does not account for. 
Our knowledge, as I have said, is a coherent system of fact 
and relation held in common by me and equally by others. 
This objectivity is the distinctive constituent of knowledge, 
yet Mill never satisfactorily accounts for it never gets out 



XIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 117 

of the charmed circle, the sphere of the subjective. No 
doubt this is the right way to begin, but it is the wrong way 
to end if we want to give an account of knowledge as the 
common property of all men. Mill never gets off psycho 
logical ground. Now I am in sympathy with Associationism 
as psychology only. Mill s psychology is rather defective. 
He borrows from Professor Bain without comprehending 
him properly. However, Mill s shortcomings in framing 
a philosophical theory of knowledge do not detract from his 
great philosophical merit in his theory of general knowledge, 
viz. his logic. It is as a logician that he is effective, rather 
than as an epistemologist not that I always go with him in 
his logic. In this he gives an account of knowledge in a 
constructive spirit that is very different from the destructive 
spirit of Hume. Living in a scientific age, Mill attempted 
to set up a fundamental theory of positive science involved 
in all the special sciences. But he does not explain how we 
come to know the world as consisting of a number of things, 
of bodies and minds. He works from the phenomenal point 
of view and from that of individual experience. He tries 
to show how the individual experiences of the mind can 
become associated so as to enable one man to ask another 
to accept them as valid. 

Even as an inquiry of positive science Mill s work is 
defective. From one point of view his positive theory may 
be called no less sceptical than that of Hume. Jevons s 
Principles of Science is more complete though still less 
philosophical. 

Bain. 

Professor Bain has been the most important contributor 
to psychology in England in this century. His pre-eminence 
extends over the whole field of psychology as distinct from 



n8 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

philosophy. Towards the general theory of knowledge he 
does not contribute any advance on Mill and the Associationists 
generally. He works from the individual point of view. He 
makes but little attempt to apply the laws of association to 
cognition as such. He does not ask, e. g. how we can 
explain the concreteness of an object on the principles of 
association, although he gives a careful statement of those 
laws. Yet he posits an element of personal initiative for the 
explanation of developed consciousness; he tacitly denies 
the tabula rasa hypothesis. In the mature consciousness he 
finds an element not derived from the sense-experience of 
the individual because he considers mental life in connexion 
with the nervous system. It is recognised that the individual 
comes into the world organised up to a certain point ; and 
this fact, taken into account on the bodily side, has correspond 
ing to it a certain pre-determination of conscious life. 

The Common Sense School. 

Reid, Stewart and Hamilton put forth their epistemological 
view in antithesis to Hume s theory of knowledge. The 
first declared that, while sense was of account for knowledge, 
knowledge could not be explained out of the elements 
assumed by the Associationist doctrines. So he fell back 
on other assumptions. What struck him in the general 
theory of knowledge, as distinct from the special problem 
of the cognition of an external world, was the community 
of knowledge was the fact that while there is more than 
sense in knowledge, this more is had by all, cultivated or 
uncultivated, young or old. This he attributed to the sub 
jective factor of common sense. Now common sense in 
psychology is a name for organic or general sensation 1 . 
1 V. Elements of Psychology, p. 62. ED. 



XIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 119 

In popular parlance it is the faculty of ready judgment, 
mother wit. Reid employed it thus: We are so con 
stituted that we interpret our experience alike. When we 
are affected through our senses, we refer those sensible 
impressions to a thing or substance of which they are 
qualities, by a fundamental principle of judgment or 
common sense. If we interrogate consciousness we reach 
this ultimate and objectively valid principle, beyond which 
we cannot reason. 

This was a valuable idea, but Reid s method was hap 
hazard, his assertions too readily made, his elementary 
principles too easily found. His common sense expresses 
rather the result, than the means, of the determination of our 
impressions. It was a kind of revival of the old doctrine of 
innate ideas, although accompanied by a much more elabo 
rate analysis of knowledge than any preceding Rationalists 
had given. We may not agree with him, nevertheless his 
system was an advance on Locke and Hume, if only because 
it made other thinkers more circumspect. 

Dugald Stewart carried on the doctrine on the same lines. 
Knowledge could not be explained without the assumption 
of certain fundamental principles of belief which determine 
the objective validity of knowledge. 

Hamilton. 

Reid, Stewart and Hamilton are the three typical ex 
ponents of faculty-psychology. The term faculty is very 
crudely used by the first two, but definitely by the last. 
Hamilton, while he justifies his own use of the word by saying 
that it is merely a way of massing together a number of mental 
phenomena, points out, as against his predecessors, that the 
discrepancies in their use of it show a want of principle 



120 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

and are essentially indeterminate. Reid, e.g. is redundant in 
making two distinct powers of Conception and Abstraction. 
He and Stewart pretend to fulfil the whole function of psycho 
logy, viz. explanation, whereas they only describe. For the 
only scientific mode of explanation is the bringing phenomena 
under laws. Explaining facts by faculties is essentially un 
scientific, for we must ascribe a quasi-independence to these 
faculties. Even Hamilton, in spite of his having guarded 
himself, falls into using the word as if for so many mutually 
independent powers, as though as some one has said he 
were dealing with European Powers. Psychology, as a rule, 
begins where Reid and Stewart leave off. Still for Hamilton 
I claim a certain amount of exemption from blame. He 
is guided, moreover, as to much of his scheme by a 
scientific principle : he goes from simple to complex. The 
most salient feature in his classification is that each faculty is 
explicable from the preceding. His scheme is better than 
a mere string of beads. But in it psychology and philosophy 
become hopelessly confused. 

His scheme divides intellect into six faculties, in which we 
find a close correspondence with our own arrangement : 

(1) Presentative (a) External . . . Perception. 

,, (6) Internal. . \ 

(2) Conservative Representative 

(3) Reproductive Imagination. 

(4) Representative J 

(5) Elaborative or Discursive . . . Conception, Thought. 

(6) Regulative 1 . 

I am not disposed to reject the prominence given to (2) apart 
from (3) and (4). Decidedly some retain well, but cannot at 
will reproduce equally well. I could rather object to separating (3) 
and (4). The fifth is the most instructive to study. I commend his 
emphatic use of the word thought as meaning re- representative 



xii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 121 

Hamilton confuses Psychology and Philosophy. 

Now here in faculties (2) to (5) Hamilton is on psycho 
logical ground ; in (i) and (6) he trespasses on philosophy. 
For instance, his first faculty he defines as that by which we 
have (a) consciousness of objects, (l>) consciousness of self. 
This is more than we undertook to find in intellection ; it is 
cognition in the fullest sense. Under the guise of psychology he 
is already dealing with the problem of knowledge. Now it is 
hardly fair to speak as though Hamilton professed to give us 
a work on psychology, when for his title he has Metaphysics. 
But we must charge him with not making the necessary 
distinction, any more than Professor Bain does in another 
direction, between psychology and philosophy. Here he 
certainly does not pass gradually from simple to complex. 
And the matter is made worse by the use of the apparently 
very simple term Presentative. He over-simplifies in one 
way, over-complicates in another. He himself, when in a 
psychological mood, sees that Presentation is but a starting- 
point. I deny (i) that we can start from perception of object 
and self, (2) that there is purely presentative intellection. 
The profit to the reader in those lectures on the first faculty 
lies in the historical information; otherwise there is much 
that is confusing and inconsistent. It was not a fortunate 
start. 

Then as to the sixth. Till this is exercised, till the results 
of the other five have been operated upon, regulated, by it, 

intellection only, and have sought to establish in the traditions of 
English psychology this usage, brought in first by Hamilton from 
Kant. Discursive too is a valuable old term, first showing the 
function of thought as a ranging over in order to bring together. 
He calls this faculty also understanding, as opposed to reason or 
ratio t his sixth faculty. 



122 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

you have not, according to Hamilton, got knowledge. Not 
professedly does he here pass again over to philosophy ; he 
thinks it is all psychology. Yet he himself denies that this 
is a faculty in the same sense as the others. He calls it by 
a Latin name, as though English were not good enough for 
it the locus principiorum nest or aggregate of principles 
which have to be made manifest as involved in knowledge. 

Hamilton s Reason. 

What does he mean by this Regulative Faculty, or the 
Reason ? Regulative is a term he borrowed from Kant, 
though not exactly the Kantian usage along with it. He 
did not use it as I do to describe the function of such 
philosophical doctrines as Logic or Ethics, his generic 
term for such functioning being Nomology (as distinct from 
Phenomenology). By Regulative he meant ordering or 
interpreting or conditioning. Certain principles constitute 
so many forms or conditions under which what we perceive, 
remember, think, &c. comes to be held as knowledge. For 
instance, by the action of the principle of Substance we 
interpret what is presented in consciousness as qualities 
cohering in a substance. And again, the flow of our 
representations does not give us cognition till they are 
ordered by the principle of Causality as effects of certain 
causes. Not content herewith, he endeavours to reduce all 
principles to one the principle of the Conditioned. 

Note how he had already begged the sixth faculty to 
expound the first. 

We have now seen what the Common Sense school found 
wanting in the Associationist doctrine, and how they sought 
to supply it. In connexion herewith they tend to use belief 
as being the foundation of knowledge, those fundamental 



xii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 123 

principles of Common Sense or Reason being held in the 
mind in the form of belief. 

No student will lose his time if he study Hamilton. What 
ever his faults, his work is unsurpassed for instructive, 
stimulative value. He really and consciously exhausted 
intellect no less than is done in Mr. Spencer s scheme and 
my own. Whereas with the classifications of Reid and 
Stewart we might ask why they stop where they do. 



For LECTURE XIII read : 

Mill, Logic, Bk. II, ch. v. vi ; Of Demonstration and Necessary 
Truths. 



LECTURE XIII. 

THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY. 
Kant. 

KANT was struck and even oppressed by the negative result 
of Hume s analyses. It seemed to him that, if Hume was 
right, no explanation of even the plain facts of science 
was possible. He was prepared to accept Hume against the 
older doctrines of metaphysics Platonic realism, innate 
ideas, and so forth but he felt that there was that in know 
ledge which Hume had not touched that his negation of 
knowledge was wrong, in that he had not faced the whole 
problem. So he sought in the Kritik of Pure Reason to 
work out a positive theory of knowledge and to destroy 
scepticism, not by mere dogmatism like Descartes and Leibniz, 
but by putting the whole of knowledge on a new footing, 
and so to find a via media between the Experientialism of 
Locke run out into the scepticism of Hume, and the 
Rationalism of Descartes and Leibniz. 

Kanfs Inquiry into the Constituents of Knowledge. 
He said that we must first settle what enters into know 
ledge. That sense is of account for knowledge he takes for 
granted. Our knowledge is of sensible things. Not that we 
have not moral convictions of something beyond, but know- 



Elements of General Philosophy. 125 

ledge proper always contains sense-elements. Sense itself 
does not explain knowledge. Knowledge is not simply sense 
transformed, but a resultant of certain elements a posteriori 
(empirically given) wrought up with certain other a priori 
elements. 

A priori and a posteriori. 

To these terms, which are to be found in Logic since the 
time of Aristotle, Kant gave an epistemological significance. 
The logical a priori is cognition of anything on the side of 
its conditions, of what it can be shown by the laws of thought 
to depend upon ; it is knowledge in deductive form. And it 
is so called because it can be shown to be dependent, through 
the laws of thought or consistency, on what has been already 
known or assumed, i. e. on premises. This is the only kind 
of conclusion that is absolutely certain. But we can make 
other inferences, for which we can never claim absolute 
certainty, and yet which are the most important, viz. induc 
tions, or general assertions about facts. Here, except in 
Jevons s trivial case of Perfect Induction, the certainty of our 
inference is technically open to dispute ; it is only probable. 
Such an inference is termed knowledge a posteriori. 

Kant uses the terms for the two kinds of factors present in 
knowledge. That which comes from sense, without which 
no exercise of pure reason has any validity, is knowledge 
a posteriori. But without the a priori factor of pure reason 
(reason not derived from experience) working on experience 
we cannot get knowledge. For Kant, a priori is a general 
name for rational as opposed to empirical; it is what 
Leibniz, in correcting Locke, meant by intellects, or that 
which is furnished by the mind s original constitution. 

Kant, be it noted, was very vague in his use of experience. 
Sometimes it means with him the contribution of sense to 



126 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

knowledge ; at other times it stands, not for bare sense- 
material, but for sense as ordered and interpreted by a priori 
principles in fact for knowledge. 

A priori Forms. 

Again, just as in Logic a distinction is drawn between 
matter and form of thought, so Kant distinguished episte- 
mologically between matter and form of cognition generally. 
The matter of knowledge is the data of sense; these are 
taken up into, or perceived under, l pure forms. The forms 
of sense are space and time. When I get external sensations 
I am so constituted that I order them in space. And I order 
all my sensations in time. Space and time are pure forms 
of intuition a term which Kant was careful to connect with 
sense-perception only, and not with Reason, seeing how 
related the words are. 

Next, sense-perception, so explained from the conjunction 
of matter and pure forms, becomes ready for conceptual know 
ing, i. e. for an orderly scheme or fabric of knowing common 
to man and man in other words, objective knowledge. 
Objective knowledge does not necessarily refer to objects in 
space. Is it a fact that every event has a cause ? If it be 
agreed that this is so, here is objective knowledge, although 
it does not refer to objects in space. Such knowledge con 
sists of sense-phenomena subsumed or brought under pure 
concepts of the understanding or fundamental principles of 
judgment, by which Kant did not understand so many innate 
ideas/ but postulated certain necessary forms of thought. 

Universality and Necessity in Knowledge. 

For there is a part of our knowledge, there are some of 
our cognitions, which are not only universal or objective, but 
also necessary. Some judgments assume the form S is P, 



xiii. ] Elements of General Philosophy. 127 

but some that of S must be P. Now no experience can 
explain so philosophers said why a must be is used any 
more than it can warrant universal validity. Experience deals 
with particulars only. It cannot tell us that all are so, or that 
all must be so ; we only know by it that this, that, and the 
other are so. We do not hesitate to say All men are mortal, 
but we only know that certain men of whom we have had 
experience have died. Knowledge may, on the warrant of 
experience, assume a general form from particulars, but then 
it is only probable ; it is of the nature of belief; it is practical, 
not theoretical necessity. So for universality. Kant paid 
most attention to necessity, defining more exactly than 
had ever been done before the nature of the problem and 
distinguishing between kinds of necessity. Necessity in know 
ledge first found explicit statement (as we have seen) in 
Leibniz. Locke gave an account of necessary truth, and 
Hume tried to account for the aspect of necessity by the 
merely subjective explanation that it is habit or custom that 
determines us to think thus. Mill argued for inseparable 
association. 

Now Kant distinguished between Analytic and Synthetic 
propositions : these do but correspond to the Essential and 
Non-essential judgments of the Schoolmen and to Mill s 
Verbal and Real predication. An analytic proposition is one 
where P (predicate) is involved in the thought of S (subject). 
Locke miscalled such propositions trivial. Man is rational 
is an analytic proposition, because by man we mean rational 
animal. Man must be rational or he is not man. Kant saw 
that all such judgments have the character of logical necessity 
necessity under the laws of thought (of Identity, Contradiction, 
Excluded Middle, or generally, of Consistency). Every step 
in thought that proceeds under the laws of thought may be 



128 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

expressed in terms of necessity. Deny and, as Aristotle 
would say, you are a vegetable. This is a kind of necessity 
experience may give distinct occasion for, e. g. Body is 
extended ; Crows are black. We can put this kind aside. 

But, said Kant, we often have judgments which are not 
analytic and yet are necessary, e.g. Two straight lines cannot 
enclose a space/ This is a synthetic proposition ; Professor 
Bain (in his Logic) tried to show it, on no ground whatever, to 
be analytic. It is also necessary. We may say merely do not 
enclose/ but the necessity, even if excluded from the form of 
the proposition, lies in its matter. Now Kant found necessities 
of thought of this kind, not only in mathematics but throughout 
the whole fabric of knowledge, e. g. Every event must have 
a cause. And he called such judgments synthetic propositions 
a priori, i. e. necessary because of an a priori synthesis formed 
in the very nature of human reason, and not a posteriori or 
constructed by the light of experience. It was thus that he 
answered the question, How are synthetic propositions a 
priori possible ? How is real predication also necessary? 
The human mind brings to the results of bare sense-experi 
ence certain subjective factors, viz. (i) pure intuitions, in 
order to perception ; (2) pure categories of concepts, in order 
to understanding ; (3) pure ideas, in order to reason. 

Of these (i), i.e. space and time, are not general notions, 
but pure forms for the reception of the bare matter of sensa 
tion that arises in us. They are the conditions under which 
sense-impressions are consciously experienced by us as having 
the character of definite phenomena mutually related in the 
way of succession or co-existence. There is nothing in sense 
to explain sensations as apart from each other in space and 
time. This represents the first stage of cognition as we 
have it. 



XIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 129 

The phenomena thus found to be the transformed data of 
sense now become matter for further elaboration, and get into 
definite relations with each other, as causes and effects, &c.; 
and by these new kinds of form applicable to phenomena 
as their matter/ just as space and time are applicable to 
sense-impressions as their matter, the order of nature becomes 
explicable. If I simply say The earth draws a stone/ there 
is involved this double elaboration of the bare facts of sense 
as originally given. They are first ordered as phenomena, 
then ordered into relations. And the forms into which 
phenomena are thus taken up are twelve categories of the 
understanding V All are involved in physical experience, for 
these forms of the mind are not cognitions in and for 
themselves, but apply to phenomena only, and have no 
meaning out of relation to them. Even what we call experi 
ence is saturated with reason/ with those highest elabora 
tions or syntheses the ideas of the self or soul, the cosmos, 
God which completed the Kantian account of the subjective 
factor in knowledge. 

Kanfs Theory of Space. 

So much for general exposition. I will now confine myself 
to space and those propositions about it which are both neces 
sary and synthetic. Kant maintained that we cannot account 

1 Discoverable from the common analysis of judgments in logic. 
(a) Three categories of QUANTITY: Unity, Plurality, Universality (as 
involved in Singular, Particular, Universal judgments respectively). 
(6) Three of QUALITY. Reality, Negation, Limitation (in Positive, 
Negative, Infinite judgments), (c] Three of RELATION : Substantiality, 
Causality, Community or Reciprocal action (in Categorical, Hypothetical, 
Disjunctive judgments), (d) Three of MODALITY: Possibility, Existence, 
Necessity (in Problematic, Assertory, Apodeictic judgments). Bain, 
op. cit. App. B, p. 60. ED. 



130 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

for our knowledge of space by reference to experience, for if 
we could, we could never form necessary synthetic propositions 
about it. We have a pure intuition of space ; it is a pure 
form, and we put our experiences into it. In support of this 
position he adduced psychological evidence both negative and 
positive negative, in that he asks us to produce those sources 
of experience, whence we have notions of space ; positive, in 
that space in relation to sensation stands in a quite peculiar 
position, thus : we experience our sensations as in space, and 
while we can think of any of those sensations as eliminated, 
we cannot think away space. We can think of a pillar as 
having colour, as emitting sound when struck, but we cannot 
think away its extension. We may colour our space as we 
like, but it must always remain extended. Space, then, is 
one of the two forms of sensibility, a form to which sense 
supplies the matter ; it is there before experience, and there 
fore we can utter synthetic propositions not built up by 
experience. 

Associationist Explanation of Necessity in Knowledge. 

Kant s insight into this question surpassed that of his pre 
decessors both Rationalist and Experientialist. I think that 
we may yield him this pre-eminence and yet, in the light of 
our more advanced psychology, be able to explain those 
aspects of our cognition of space which led him to deny its 
experiential origin. Let us face him with the developed 
position of his Associationist opponents as best seen in Mill 
and Professor Bain. The latter in his Psychology gives the 
very data which we shall use to show where Kant was wrong, 
yet he does not make use of them as he might have done. 
Had he seen the full import of what he makes out, he would 
have had a better argument against the Kantian position. Take 



xiii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 131 

Mill : For him there is nothing in our knowledge of space 
which may not be accounted for by the amount and constancy 
of our experience going to form the cognition. If we find 
that we cannot think of colour except as in space, it is because 
we find that they always do go together. Associations, though 
formed within experience, may become inseparable. Space 
a form in which we receive colour as matter ? No, said Mill ; 
we have always apprehended colour as extended, extension 
as coloured. Necessity depends upon the amount of experi 
ence, which is here of a peculiarly simple kind. Experience 
that is frequent and constant enough can give rise to a must 
be/ a cannot be. 

Criticism of both Positions. 

Now I have thrown doubt on how Associationism can ever 
account for the necessity of synthetic propositions. I take 
a middle position, neither Kantian nor Associationist, finding 
neither view perfectly valid. Is Space a form for all external 
sensations ? (I omit Time for lack of it.) Yes, said Kant, 
sensations are by us ordered in space. Well, I have shown, 
in dealing with perception \ that every sensation does 
come to have some kind of spatial reference more or less. 
But there is all the difference in the world, of DEGREE. For 
that difference of degree we must account in detail, and this 
puts a check on our agreeing with Kant s superficial assertion, 
that space is form for all sensations alike. Do the notes in 
the scale of an octave or in a chord appear to us spread out 
in space like the colour-spectrum ? It is true that we should 
hear them as in space/ yet the spatial order is very different. 

On the other hand, I protest against ranking our experience 
of space on a level with that of colour or sound, as the 
Associationists do. How can we have experience of colour? 
1 V. Elements of Psychology , p. 96. ED. 
K 2 



132 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

By way of sensations passively received. How of space ? 
There is no such simple source of space-experience. In 
separable association exists, it is true, as a psychological fact, 
and explains much that looks like necessity. Mill uses it to 
account for mathematical necessity. The ideas, e. g., of two 
straight lines and what cannot enclose a space have come, 
through personal experience, to be so closely associated as to 
be practically inseparable. But however that may be, colour 
and extension do not constitute a case of inseparable associa 
tion. We must find one where the associates were first known 
in separation, e. g. the name hat and the thing hat. In 
separable association refers to what is practically inseparable, 
not to what is theoretically inseparable. And if we look at 
how the human organism is constituted, we see that the 
relation of colour and extension cannot be a case of two more 
or less indifferent elements being brought together by chance- 
experience and fused. It lies in the constitution of our per 
ceptive faculty that we cannot but have the experience of 
extended colour if we have eyes. I am so constituted that 
when I am affected by colour I move my eyes. This is a 
necessity of the constitution, and not of acquired experi 
ence. Inseparable association can never explain necessity in 
knowledge. 

But have we not seen, it may be asked, how extension is 
explicable by muscular sense ? This is really important, 
though more is required. It is by reference to active sense/ 
the resultant of muscular sense in conjunction with passive 
sense, that we do get an actual experiential origin of our 
perception of space. Space, as we have seen, is no simple 
experience, but a complex product of data given by colours 
and touch. Thus space is a form I have no objection to 
the term as expressing the relation of space to simple sensa- 



XIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 133 

tions but it is not therefore a pure intuition/ since we can 
psychologically explain it. Nor is it the universal form of 
external sensation. 

Organic Necessity. 

Now if, constituted as we are, some sense-organs only are 
muscular, and if it is the fact of muscularity whereby we have 
apprehension of extension, it becomes a necessity for us to 
have those sensations in space. We are so ordered, through 
the mobility of our hands, eyes, &c., as to have those sensa 
tions so. Here is the explanation of this necessity because 
of our organic constitution. And this is not to explain mind 
from matter ; I use eyes, muscles/ &c., to designate the 
factors, not to explain them. The material differences in the 
brains of different men suggest differences of mental ability. 
Kant, then, was right in maintaining that our reference of 
colours to space was of our original constitution, though what 
he called pure intuition I term bodily organs. Whether the 
tendency be innate I know not, not knowing the consciousness 
of myself as an infant or that of other infants. Even were it 
not so, the psychological facts we have mentioned can account 
for the development of the cognition within the lifetime of the 
individual. And if it were so, the tendency would still be not 
a pure intuition, but the result of the principle of heredity. 
Pure intuition cannot satisfy ; we must inquire further. I am 
far from dogmatically asserting that the idea of space is got 
in the life of the individual ; it may, or may not, be so. It 
were possible to go deeper than Mill or Bain, and yet give 
a psychologically based explanation. Enough here to say 
that the line is fruitful, and that more may be done therein 
by English psychologists than Kant ever achieved. I am not 
hostile to Mill s exposition on demonstrative science in the 
second book of the Logic. It is good as far as it goes, and 



134 Elements of General Philosophy. 

is the best explanation yet made from the point of view of 
individual experience. Professor Bain gives his adhesion to 
Mill s mathematical theory, but extraordinary is the way in 
which in his Logic T he throws away the advantages got from 
his position in psychology as to our unique apprehension of 
extension, and never refers to it. For if extension is not had 
merely by experience from without, but by activity of ours put 
forth, springing from within, it is absurd to say that we are 
reduced to the same conditions for our knowledge of space 
as for that of the qualities of things. It is always possible 
for us to perform movement of some sort, and this movement 
is involved in our apprehension of extension. My knowledge 
of space depends upon my acting when I like ; other per 
ception depends upon whenever, in a broken, limited way, 
I happen to be sensibly affected. We make, we determine 
space ; we come to know it by way of construction not of 
a priori construction, not of spontaneity of thought, as Kant 
said, but by conscious bodily exertion, not limited by occasions 
of passive sense-impressions. And this is because we are 
what we are. We are thrown back on our original constitution. 
Hence it is that the science of space is different from the 
inductive sciences .of nature ; hence it is that mathematics is 
a demonstrative science. The explanation applies to all 
sciences in so far as they are demonstrative to Arithmetic 
and Physics, e. g. as well as to Geometry for all are to that 
extent concerned with matter as apprehended by activity, by 
construction ; and herein lies their necessity. Other sciences 
we form piecemeal from experience 2 . 

1 Deduction/ Bk. II. ch. v. 

2 The lecturer referred students, for a fuller explanation, to his 
article Axiom in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. (Reprinted in 
Philosophical Remains, pp. 119-132.) ED. 



LECTURE XIV. 

THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. CAUSATION. 

The Category of Causality. 

WE will now proceed to Kant s Categories of the Under 
standing, and single out for examination and comparison 
that one which the growth of modern science has brought 
most prominently under discussion. When things are 
sensibly perceived they are ordered in space or in time; 
but when thought or generally known, i. e. when in the form 
of concept, we say they must have a cause. Now according 
to Kant this is a synthetic assertion a priori. Cause, or 
cause and effect, is a pure concept not got by experience. 
We are naturally determined to look for something before 
and after an action. With cause, as with space, a necessity 
is laid upon us in the act of knowing. This was an immense 
step beyond earlier views; it is perfectly intelligible and 
satisfactory also as far as it goes. Before Kant s time no 
one took the trouble fully to analyse knowing as we find it. 

The Growth of the Notion of Cause. 

The question of causation is as old as Plato, but the 
epistemological aspect of it How do we, in our knowledge, 
come to relate phenomena to one another as cause and 



136 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

effect ? has (in addition to the consideration of space) only 
come to the front since the time of Hume and Kant in 
connexion with the establishment and progress of modern 
science. Through that, Nature has come to be regarded as 
a realm within which law reigns universally. Nature has 
always, it is true, been considered as a realm in which there 
are things having a fixed occurrence, and a law of universal 
causation is no new thing in philosophy. Without the 
acceptance of the law there could be no science as science is 
now constituted. Yet it is only lately that Nature has been 
scientifically investigated in a thorough-going manner, and 
the law applied to every kind of phenomena. People have 
not always referred every thing and every happening to cause 
and effect. Even Aristotle expressly distinguished a region 
of cause from a region of chance. And there are some who 
still deny that mental phenomena are regulated by it. For 
example, it is a question still raised whether human action, 
the action of beings having a conscious volition, is a fixed 
and orderly action which can be investigated and forecast like 
other facts in nature. This is the famous free-will con 
troversy (v. infra, Lecture XIX). The difference of opinion 
which we see yet prevailing with regard to this sphere of 
occurrence formerly prevailed with regard to all nature. It 
was held that things would happen otherwise than under the 
condition of strict uniformity. 

Causation as Universal. 

Generally speaking, however, the causal connexion may 
now be considered as established. In regard practically to 
anything that happens, we are prepared to make one pre 
supposition if none other, namely, that it is caused, or 
determined to happen, and that it does not happen except as it 



xiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 137 

is caused. When anything happens, I say, we also assume 
that it follows on something else, not as on a bare antecedent 
in time, but as on a cause or determinant. We assume 
that Nature is an aggregate of events all determined to 
happen as they do happen, i. e. that Nature is uniform in 
respect to cause and effect. When an event happens we 
seek to conjoin it with some other event as cause. On this 
assumption is based all scientific generalisation, all inductive 
inference, every real and complete induction. For a complete 
induction is one where the nature of the instances is such 
that any other result than the universal assertion we commit 
ourselves to would run contrary to the universality of the 
law of causation \ The causal connexion then being at this 
time of day established, we have to account for it. 

Rationalist and Experientialist Explanations of Cause. 

Now Hume was the first to account for the causal con 
nexion on the ground of experience, there being nothing 
beyond experience that he can find to explain it from. 
Locke was too far back in time to touch the subject. 
Science was then too little established as a system of know 
ledge to draw the attention of philosophers. But Kant, who 
professed to account for science as we find it, had specially 
to occupy himself with this question. And since his time 
Rationalists have held cause to be a pure concept. 
Hamilton indeed thought to advance beyond Kant in saying 
that the judgment of causality is a work not of the Elabora- 
tive, but of the Regulative Faculty an act of reason as 
opposed to the understanding. We are, according to him, 
to account for universal causation, not by a pure concept 
brought by the mind, i.e. by the mind s ability, but as due 

1 Cf. J. S. Mill, Examination of Hamilton s Philosophy, p. 402, note. 



138 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

rather to its impotence. It is owing to the limitation of the 
mind that we bring everything in relation to something 
else. Every event must have a cause; we cannot help it. 
This is in connexion with his fundamental c Law of the 
Conditioned. Hamilton s turn to the argument should be 
studied, but his doctrine of causation is not good. Kant s 
position is preferable. He best represents the Rationalist 
position, Hume and Mill that of Experientialism. 

I throw up a stone, and it falls to the ground. I say, The 
earth attracts the stone/ Now the Experientialist explains 
this judgment, as made on the strength of the individual s 
countless experiences of this sequence of phenomena. He 
asserts causation as a generalisation from experience. Whereas 
Kant maintained that, unless he could first pass an a priori 
judgment of causality, he could never have the experience at 
all that we bring our category of causality to bear on, and 
elaborate the judgment out of, the bare experience of the 
stone falling to earth. (Notice that Kant and he is not 
alone in this usage employs experience ambiguously as 
meaning either raw sense-material, or phenomena ordered 
in certain ways, i.e. according to the categories.) According 
to Kant, I repeat, unless we knew a priori that every event 
must have a cause, we should never have got so far as to 
say The earth attracts the stone. According to Mill the 
phenomenon is a simple particular by which we rise to 
the universal assertion. 

Criticism of both Positions. 

Now I am wholly dissatisfied with this common-place 
Experientialism of Mill and others. Not thus can we account 
for knowledge. On the other hand, we are not driven to 
Kant s alternative, to assert cause as a pure concept of the 



xiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 139 

understanding. For as we found that his pure form of 
intuition was not pure since space has a development so 
we find that cause is not a pure concept. It comes by way 
of sense, although not given by experience already developed. 
Nevertheless, as against crude Experientialism, I side with 
Kant, who gives a much profounder analysis of knowledge. 

Cause in Science and in Popular Usage. 

Before suggesting a solution of the question, it is necessary 
to make a distinction. There is a real difference between 
cause as understood in science and cause as used in every 
day speech. The cause of anything that science seeks to 
account for is the set of conditions of a phenomenon; it 
tries, in assigning cause and effect, to establish a certain 
fixed relation among phenomena a certain kind of unifor 
mity. Science has nothing to say of the reason why one 
phenomenon should be followed by another, and in no way 
professes to account for the relation except as a mere 
uniformity of occurrence. Thus when oxygen and hydrogen 
in combination are exploded by a spark there results water. 
For the purposes of science the cause of this is explained 
by proving the presence of oxygen and hydrogen, and the 
application of the spark. But no one can say what ultimately 
brings about the result. Science has only words to denote 
a certain fixed succession. 

Popular speech is, however, much more definite in assigning 
a cause. Where a stone falls to the earth it says at once, 
The earth draws, attracts the stone/ i.e. \&& power to produce 
this effect. Science only points to the fixed relation or 
succession of phenomena. Any succession is not causal, but 
causation is only succession of a certain kind. Now what 
else is there besides succession when the principle of causality 



140 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

is assumed ? There seems an implication in the philosophical 
principle resembling that in common speech, namely of, 
power in one thing to bring about another thing. Our 
language certainly commits us to more than the bare 
scientific notion. 

The scientific conception of cause has grown up lately, 
because it is only of late that nature has been regarded 
phenomenally. Before positive science grew up nature was 
regarded as an aggregate, not of inter-related phenomena, 
but of active beings. No science came to pass until men 
looked away from this view and established definite relations 
among facts as they found them. 

As this aspect of phenomenal relation, of co-existences 
and successions, developed, the popular notion of cause and 
effect, with its implied assumption of power, became 
attenuated to indicate merely a special kind of phenomenal 
succession, and theorists began to dispute the propriety of 
using the word cause in this connexion as misleading. 
Hume s philosophy centres entirely round this part of the 
subject, namely, the great question : Can this relation among 
phenomena that science takes account of be properly called 
causall Mill answered this affirmatively, and tried to show 
that the notion of power (in cause to produce effect) ought 
to be excluded from the notion of causation. This is 
equivalent to asserting that a causal relation, as it is made 
out in science, is purely phenomenal. Both Hume and 
Kant agree with him here. Berkeley regarded cause not as 
a phenomenal antecedent, but as a spiritual reality, as the 
connexion between the real being (mind) and what appears. 
He spoke of the scientific cause as a phenomenal sign of 
the true cause, science dealing with ideas (phenomena) that 
are significant of other ideas. Comte was the most thorough 



xiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 141 

phenomenalist of them all ; he would not even raise the 
question as to any reality beyond phenomena. And just 
because he was a phenomenalist, he wanted to get rid of the 
notion of cause altogether, and asserted that the utmost object 
of science was to determine uniformities of phenomena or 
laws. According to Mill, scientific relations, though all 
phenomenal, may yet be called causal. According to Comte, 
because they are phenomenal they must not be called 
causal. Comte agrees in expression, though not in thought, 
with Berkeley and also with Dr. Martineau. These two 
concur in saying that science is concerned only with the 
signification of phenomena by phenomena, in order to show 
that, beyond all considerations of phenomenal relation, there 
is a deeper consideration of cause, viz. as to how any 
phenomenon is related as effect to a cause in the sphere 
of metaphysical reality or ultimate being. They hold that 
when we have got science we are only at the beginning 
of our investigation and not, as Comte believed, at the end 
of all possible inquiry. 

J Cause in Cartesianism. 

The attenuated notion of cause that we find in science had 
already been anticipated in philosophic thought by Occasion 
alism, although based on different premises from those of Hume 
and Mill. Occasionalism explained all change in Nature as 
mere sequence, the full working of cause being only between 
God and every creature. The creature was robbed of causal 
efficiency *, this being placed to the credit of the account of 
the Deity. Geulincx especially came near to scientific Pheno- 

1 In Aristotle efficient cause includes the notion of power, but, 
as opposed to final, formal, and material causes, is equivalent to 
the modern idea of causation. 



142 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

menalism in seeking to account for the apparent interaction 
of two such opposed substances as mind and body. Male- 
branche also explained every event as due to direct divine 
intervention, rinding in the world only phenomenal conjunction. 
Descartes himself went nearly as far as this in controversy. 
They tended to the Pantheism, with its notion of immanent 
causation, which was fully developed by Spinoza. 

The Logical Weakness of Mill s Theory. 

What account do we give of this problem ? Can we say with 
Mill that every human mind, from seeing things happen, 
develops the conviction that every event must have a cause ? 
If \ve study what Mill says in his Logic for this position, we 
find it gives strength to Kant s view. Data that he assumes 
to account for causation are already co-ordinated by the 
application of the pre-existent principle, for we are naturally 
determined to interpret our experiences by way of causation. 
The difficulties in the way of accepting Mill s view are 
insuperable. 

Universal Causation a Postulate in Science. 

For purposes of science, I think that at present it is a 
sufficient explanation of the universality of causation when it 
is set out as 2. postulate^ without which it is impossible to have 
science at all. If things happened now in one way and now 
in another we could make no general assertion about them. 
We must postulate a fixity in the occurrence of phenomena. 
This will be sufficient to account for the universality of 
causation in science. If with some we doubt whether it be 
universal there is so much of science blotted out for us. We 
may use the word cause for the mere phenomenal relation, 
but it must be without misunderstanding it. The question 



xiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 143 

whether cause has power to produce an effect has no meaning 
in science. But this is not accounting philosophically for the 
notion. 

The Truth in Milts Theory. 

Having excluded the notion of efficient cause from 
science, Mill seeks the origin of our notion of cause and effect 
in generalisation from the phenomenal relation. He argues 
that the principle of causation on which induction is based 
is itself an induction. This is to beg the question. And he 
reckons this generalisation from experience of cause and 
effect as, according to Bacon s term, an induction by simple 
enumeration of instances/ i.e. by the weakest, the least 
scientific method of induction, Mill himself allowing, as we 
have seen, that he cannot make a good induction until he 
has got the principle of causation. Hence he gets the 
principle by a bad induction. This is not worked out as 
well as it might have been. Nevertheless there is reason in 
his position. He arrives at his primary assertion tentatively, 
and it is strengthened by every fresh induction. We may 
trust simple enumeration in regard to the general fad of 
causation in Nature, but not in regard to cause in a special 
case ; in the latter we need to base our inquiry on the law of 
causation itself. 

In point of fact it must have been from experience that 
people arrived at the idea of universal causation, because it 
is only lately that universal causation has become recognised. 
Whereas if it were a pure concept, why was it not recognised 
before ? Kant does not face this evolution in thought. An 
experiential origin of the notion of cause may be defended as 
against his view. 

Yet I do not put the case like Mill. The notion of cause 
is not derived from a consideration of the phenomenal 



144 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

relation, because this is not a natural but an artificial view of 
the question, whereas the notion of cause has grown up with 
men from the beginning. It is from the popular idea, 
whence the scientific sense of causation has been derived by 
attenuation, that the philosophical notion of cause was first 
got, and it is in reference to that, that the question of ground 
should be raised. For we do ultimately think of cause as 
something with power to produce an effect. Whence then 
does this arise? Through external experience or apart 
from it ? 

"S The Psychological Basis of the Notion of Cause. 

Exactly that which Mill protests against Reid s adducing 
to account for the notion of cause may be maintained in 
explanation of the popular idea. The notion of power 
in the conception of cause is got from our consciousness 
of being able to put forth activity, from our consciousness of 
volition. Both Hume and Mill argue that actual experience 
of cause and effect shows only a relation between phenomena 
either from the objective or the subjective point of view. I 
demur. However necessary it may be for scientific purposes 
to regard our subjective states as phenomena, no man regards 
himself simply as a phenomenon or series of phenomena. 
We know ourselves as beings that may or may not exert 
a definite energy, and this quite takes our actions out of the 
category of phenomenal successions. Now just as, in regard 
to movements of my body, I come to consider them as 
depending on my will, so I come to conceive there is a 
similar causal power determining other movements in 
nature. 

Mansel thought this not enough, and that to find the root 
of the notion it was necessary to go down to the power of 



xiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 145 

man to determine the successive states of his mind. This 
is of course one case of the exercise of our volition, but it is 
better to take the more general and the older view. So when 
we say that the earth draws a stone we ascribe a personality 
to the earth just as we are conscious of our own personality, 
in the same way as I ascribe to another personality the 
power of moving the arm. If I credit jw; and the earth with 
being reservoirs of power, it is because I have read my own 
consciousness into everything that I say acts. I have read 
into my experience what is not directly in it. Not that we 
really think that the earth is endowed with a personality like 
ourselves, but we have a tendency to read it into the earth, 
despite our real convictions. 

The Larger Experientiallsm. 

Thus there is a good ground for urging that we do not 
get the notion of cause from strictly phenomenal experience. 
The Rationalist position is so far good. Yet if we consider 
the circumstances fully, we shall come to see that this mode 
of interpretation is not fixed and fast, but has gradually grown 
up, and, like the constitution of the human mind, has been 
developed with the human race, or anterior to it in the 
succession of animal life. This mode of interpreting our 
experience as a world of active causes, however natural for 
all of us now, even for the uninstructed more perhaps for 
them has only, as there is every reason to believe, come to 
be developed gradually, as men have awaked to full con 
sciousness. Man came to interpret the world in this way 
after the experience of ages, and not within the experience 
of the individual. In this way only may the Experientialist 
position be justified. It does seem to me that, despite the 
position taken up by the English Associationists, we can 

L 



146 Elements of General Philosophy. 

find no sufficient explanation of our view of the world, as an 
aggregate of active agents in relation to one another, in 
terms of their principles only. My view of the world as 
known is not explained by my simple sense-experiences 
becoming aggregated under principles of association. There 
is more in my knowledge than my experience can 
account for. 



For LECTURE XV read : 

G. C. Robertson, Philosophical Remains, pp. 63-74 : How we 
come by our Knowledge (or Nineteenth Century, March, 1877). ED. 



LECTURE XV. 

THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE. EVOLUTION. 
The Principle of Heredity applied to the Problem of Knowledge. 

THE problem of knowledge, then, cannot be solved without 
reference not only to our consciousness but to our organic 
structure and functions, either according to Kant s view of 
the constitution of the mind, or according to the scientific 
point of view which takes into account our nervous 
system. Now here we see how entirely the philosophical 
question of knowledge has changed in consequence of our 
wider scientific view. Evolution has given the problem 
quite a new expression. I do not say that the evolution 
of our physical organisation explains consciousness, but it 
yields us a statement of external conditions. Our experience 
is determined from the first, and definitely combined in certain 
ways. Anything more inappropriate, more ludicrous than 
the tabula rasa theory, with its implication that all minds are 
at starting alike and, if exposed to the same conditions, would 
all develop alike, is not to be found. Allowance must be made 
for the predetermining of primitive endowment : aptitudes 
must be recognised, as Leibniz saw better than Locke. 
No child s knowledge is explicable from its own experience. 
This no doubt involves a starting-point somewhere, but 

L 2 



148 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

scientific explanation does not pretend to give absolute 
beginnings. We need not assume the primitive endowment 
of a child as something inexplicable. Heredity is a real factor, 
and accounts for facts in knowledge which Associationists 
cannot explain. Breed was always allowed to count for some 
thing, but prior to Darwin and Mr. Spencer there was no 
formulated theory of it. The organism, more especially the 
nervous system, becomes modified by a change of environment. 
What one generation acquires in the way of adaptation to 
environment another gets the benefit of. An accommodation 
takes place in the individual and modifies the character of the 
progeny. The individual inherits the experience, or the 
effects of the experience, of the race. Mr. Spencer, it is true, 
is not so effective in applying it as he makes out : he should 
have gone to school under Kant, whose is the insight if not 
the power of explaining : his theory of knowledge halts, 
because he fails to see the problem of knowledge in its fullness. 
The principle of heredity, if applied intelligently, would 
account for more than he has made it do. By it we can not 
only explain the difference between your constitution and 
mine, but we can partly account for the community of know 
ledge by the fact of common ancestry, a common inheritance 
of mental and nervous constitution. This fact, properly 
understood, is of the greatest importance in explaining. It 
is a dim fore-feeling of this that we get in Plato s ideas 
had in a prior existence, and in the theory of innate ideas 
generally, Experience has gone before us. It is quite 
evident that our own experience does not determine us to 
perform acts we do perform before experience can teach 
us. The mere study of the individual organism will give no 
explanation of knowledge as we find it. There are factors 
to be sought outside of the experience of the individual. 



xv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 149 

This does not cut us off from Experientialism, but it does 
cut us off from Individualism. Heredity explains both the 
individual element in the conscious living organism and also 
its element of relation to the conscious life of others. 

The Social Factor. 

When we have made every allowance for heredity in the 
Evolutionist sense, and for experience in the Associationist 
sense, we have accounted for but a very small part of our 
knowledge. What the knowledge of an individual comes to 
be is not to be accounted for by accidental experience alone, 
nor by heredity, nor by the original constitution of the mind. 
There is something, principally speech, passed on from 
generation to generation, which has gone on increasing as it 
has passed. This the individual finds ready for him to take 
hold of; it takes hold of him, and through this we have 
our knowledge. The child comes into the world in a social 
relation ; when it begins to act for itself, then it is that it 
comes under the influence of the Social Factor. 

No ; the question of knowledge is not to be resolved in 
terms of individualistic experience. The eighteenth century 
theorists of knowledge Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Kant 
none of them take into account the social conditions of the 
individual. Hegel, the great Rationalist, recognised that 
man has his being determined and moulded by social circum 
stances. But it was Comte who first clearly apprehended 
the solidarity of the individual in society, and the debt 
we owe to our fellows and especially to past generations, 
not by way of organic inheritance, but by way of intercourse, 
and chiefly by the social engine of thought expressed in 
language. Lewes s thought too was impregnated with this 
doctrine. It was he who brought it to the front in this 



150 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

country. Man is no mere unit with independent development, 
but depends for that development on his environment and 
the overpowering influence of social tradition. It is when 
he has passed through the training imposed by society that 
he first begins to assert himself. 

Speech and Knowledge. 

Now this social influence, I say, is exerted chiefly by the 
medium of language. The Nominalists, e.g. Hobbes, Locke 
and Hume, denying that we have any, or any save very 
imperfect, powers of general thinking except by means 
of verbal signs, have always recognised the importance 
of language. But they were mainly concerned with the 
special psychological question, how we think generally/ 
They did not discern the far more widely pervading function 
of language. Whatever the individual develops into can be 
shown to be a product of his relations with others through 
the moulding medium of language. For language is a 
natural social product of the mind, which is not come at 
or elaborated by any one person, but consists of expressions 
caught up between man and man and become current. 
No child coming into being is allowed to follow his own 
bent, save in a limited degree. For awhile a spontaneous 
language is allowed free course, but very soon progress in 
language consists not in his own creations, but in what he 
shows aptitude in getting from others. Imitation is natural. 
Through it he is laid hold of by society and moulded after its 
kind. For the language that is its chief instrument has been 
developed by accumulated deposits of the countless experiences 
of the society of the past. The more he works into that 
language the more he adopts what transforms his whole 
being, involving as it does an entire theory of the universe. 



xv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 151 

The simple fact of an active verb implying, involving, a sub 
ject and object, cause and effect, and the like, embodies such 
a theory, and becomes a way of interpreting his experience 
which that experience itself does not adequately provide. 
Experience is interpreted for him, in spite of him, so as to 
compel his explanations into the course they take. 

Here is, for the individual, a non-empirical factor within 
sense ; not a mere system of sounds, but also an a priori 
factor of knowledge. But not on Kantian lines. There 
is no need to fall back on pure intuitions and concepts 
that cannot be accounted for. The child thinks with con 
cepts formed prior to its own experience, concepts which 
have been developed and which were in past times different 
from what they are. 

We have seen that the notion of the world as a realm 
of cause and effect has developed with the human race. 
That language has moulded and dictated its development 
is no justification of Mill s theory, that invariable sequence 
teaches us to distinguish causal action. Relatively to the 
individual the concept is pure : it is not developed by him ; 
others have done this and handed it on ready made. Well 
then, is the concept absolutely pure from the first ? Was it 
intuitive ? Or has it been developed in the history of the 
race ? The question is unanswerable : and yet does there 
not lie a pretty strong suggestion in the development of 
languages themselves, with systems of metaphysic variously 
developed in each? Kant said that effect and cause can 
never have been developed in the individual or in the race ; 
such a necessity of thought as that never ! / say, the 
gradual development of the conviction that nature is a realm 
of law, that everything is caused, is a historical fact. Even 
Aristotle s mind, as I pointed out, had no full notion of 



152 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

universal causation; some things, he held, happened by 
chance, causelessly. Necessities of thought can be explained 
in terms of experience, z/~we let experience include accreted 
racial experience. This is an extension of Experientialism. 
Mr. Spencer s Heredity or organised experience, on the one 
hand, and the fact of growing language on the other, as 
an impersonal factor, seem to go much further to explain 
knowledge than unbelievers think. Scientific psychological 
data, if sound and wide, will answer philosophical questions. 

In Conclusion. 

One word more. Kant s importance in the history of 
philosophy can never be overrated, and, in his own line, no 
one can go beyond him. No serious study of him is ever lost, 
for through no thinker can the student be so well led into 
the heart of the philosophical questions of the day. He 
is the first philosopher who fully understood the complexity of 
the problem of knowledge, however mystical his ultimate as 
sumptions may appear in the light of the advance of science. 
Working on independent lines, although a Rationalist, he went 
as far in the direction of reconciliation between the two 
opposed standpoints as was possible a century ago. 

On the other hand, it is the great merit of the English 
school that, with its feet firmly planted on psychological 
ground, it has answered as to the nature of knowledge in 
conformity with this ground. It is true that biological advance 
has rendered for ever impossible the older Experientialist 
position, that knowledge with its^bj^iv^y, ijs^universalit^, 
its necessity, has to be acquired by every individual for 
himself, in^the COUrstTof his own experience, from the begin 
ning. But the Experientialism of to-day is far in advance 
of that of the last century. We have advanced all round, 



xv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 153 

e. g. psychologically, by the distinction drawn between active 
sense and passive sense a discovery which has completely 
altered the state of the question*. Thus the means are now 
present for working out a systematic theory of knowledge 
from the point of view of modern Experientialism. Philosophy 
is not science, but its problems should be solved as far as 
possible from a scientific point of view. 



For LECTURE XVI read : 

Bain, op. cit. Theories of a Material World (p. 202). 
Mill, Examination of Hamilton s Philosophy, ch. xi. The Psycho 
logical Theory of the Belief in an External World. 
Hamilton, Works of Reid, Notes C and D. 
Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge. 



LECTURE XVI. 

THE PERCEPTION OF AN EXTERNAL (OR MATERIAL) WORLD. 

Berkeley s Influence. 

WITH this our third problem we have been dealing more 
or less by implication. In considering how we come by 
our knowledge, what are the psychological factors in our 
cognition, it only remained to add the special emphasis know 
ledge, cognition, of objects. Objectivity as applied to percepts 
is only a case of the objectivity of knowledge. What account 
can we give of the existence, in our system of knowledge, 
of an external, extended, material world? Is there a real 
pillar corresponding to my individual percept of it? The 
question is specially an English one, and it was Berkeley 
who first gave this direction to English thought. The 
same Berkeley who denied the existence of things of 
sense, as a philosopher and Immaterialist, was the first 
man to begin a perfectly scientific doctrine of sense-per 
ception as a psychologist. He approached the philosophical 
question through his psychology. Yet although he was 
foremost in the psychology of his century and made great 
positive additions to science, he is almost the only first- 
rate modern thinker who set to work with a definite 



Elements of General Philosophy. 155 

religious and even theological purpose; for the note of 
modern philosophy is that it leaves out religion as such in 
its explanations. I said first-rate/ for some second-rate 
thinkers, e. g. Butler, did have a religious purpose ; whereas 
Berkeley psychologised for philosophy, and philosophised 

for theology. 

Before Berkeley. 

Descartes position was that mind and matter are utterly 
differentiated, the former by thought, the latter by extension. 
Mind exists and thinks and is not extended. Matter exists 
and is extended and does not think. The resultant problem 
was, How, in the human constitution, can mind be conjoined 
with a body ? Further : if matter exists in so far as it is ex 
tended, is there or is there not much in material things that 
can be proved not to exist in the same sense, e. g. colour, 
sound, &c ? 

Locke was not, like Descartes, a dogmatic metaphysician 
at least, not to the same extent. Philosophy with Des 
cartes was theory of being, and his fundamental assumption 
was substance either extended or thinking. With Locke 
it tended to become theory of knowledge, constructed if not 
on a psychological basis, at least in a psychological spirit. 
Nevertheless Locke s psychological view of external things 
is largely coloured by Cartesian metaphysical dogmatism. 
He asserted at times the existence of matter in a manner 
as absolute as that of the growing materialistic science of 
his day. Locke s doctrine of matter as known was that, 
of our ideas of external things, some correspond to qualities 
really existing in external bodies, while some are of qualities 
wrongly imputed by us to those bodies, and which have no 
objective existence. The former are extension, figure, 
motion, rest, solidity or impenetrability, and number; the 



156 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

latter are all other sensible qualities, as colours, sounds, 
tastes, and so forth 1 . Those he calls primary, these, 
secondary qualities. The latter are not in things, but 
are sensations of ours interpreted as absolute qualities of 
things. Primary qualities exist absolutely, but of them 
too we have sensible apprehension. These primary and 
secondary qualities were the equivalents of Aristotle s Com 
mon and Special Sensibles. The special sensibles were 
the impressions conveyed each by a special sense to con 
sciousness, but the common sensibles, e. g. extension, 
were the result of a number of senses being affected 
together, or rather of what Aristotle called common sense, 
a sense over and above the special senses. Now Locke 
thought of extension only as something apprehensible by 
different senses at the same time, and so he translated 
common sensibles into primary qualities, holding that all 
those aspects thus apprehended are fundamental or primary, 
as representing qualities of objects as they really are. Locke 
was bound to assume an absolute matter in which these 
qualities cohered. But if primary qualities are such as we 
have sensible apprehension of, they are not so different from 
secondary qualities. 

Berkeley on Locke. 

It was here that Berkeley stepped in and broke up this 
absolute distinction between primary and secondary qualities 
of matter. He contended that the former are as much 
explainable in terms of ideas as the latter. All are agreed 
that colour, sound, heat, &c., are things we impute to matter 
on the strength of our sensible experience. Berkeley main 
tained that this was equally and in the same way true of 

1 Locke, Essay, Bk. II, ch. viii; Berkeley, Principles of Human 
Knowledge, Pt. I, 9. 



XVL] Elements of General Philosophy. 157 

the former. They also are ideas, and just as little repre 
sentative of any reality in matter as colour, sound, &c. 3 are. 
If colour is something we impute to external things, there 
is a sense in which we impute extension to them also. All 
qualities of things, primary as well as secondary, are for 
philosophy phenomenal. 

Berkeley s Theory of Matter. 

Now this was Berkeley s reason for denying that material 
things exist at all apart from mind. He regards them as 
mere aggregates of sensations. All that we mean by matter 
is uniformity of sense-experience. All that absolutely exists 
is mind. External things only exist for mind. Esse est 
percipi. Nothing can be except as perceived. Being, apart 
from being perceived, is a direct repugnancy and altogether 
inconceivable/ The absolute existence of unthinking things 
are words without a meaning, or which include a contradic 
tion 1 . As we know everything through our senses, and 
cannot know in any other way, it follows that nothing 
perceived is absolute, and that matter can only exist if 
the sense is there. Berkeley does not get rid of the reality 
to each perceiving mind of the external world, but he does 
claim to have got rid of its absolute reality, i. e. of its existence 
apart from perceiving minds. Granted the existence of 
mind, there is nothing that we cannot express as orderly 
experience of mind. 

Such was Berkeley s doctrine of Immaterialism a less 
ambiguous term than Idealism by which he thought, 



1 Principles of Human Knowledge, Pt. I, 17, 24. A " contradic 
tion " if it means that sensible objects are at once . . . phenomenal 
and yet not phenomenal. Eraser s Selections from Berkeley, 3rd ed. 
PP- 48, 53 note. ED. 



158 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

in a community of pure Materialists, to get rid of the 
matter which was their one fundamental assumption, and 
at the same time to confute the half-hearted dogmatism 
of Locke. Berkeley was born in the century which saw 
the beginning of modern science, and at the end of it, when 
that science was tending to be very materialistic. Matter 
was not only assumed, for science as for the practical 
purposes of life, as an absolute, as something extended 
and consisting of minute invisible parts having motion in 
relation to each other a fact which accounted for colour, 
sound, heat, &c. but was posited as the one thing that 
really did exist. Locke, on the other hand, as we have seen, 
allowed only a partial accounting for matter as mental 
construction. Berkeley contended that, if it can be shown 
that object is a psychological construction in regard to its 
secondary qualities, it is equally a psychological construction 
in regard to its primary qualities. We are not to regard our 
senses as giving absolute copies, as Locke did, of objects ; we 
must explain how objects come to appear extended, figured, 
and moved just as much as how they appear coloured, heated, 
and so forth. This it was Berkeley s great merit to be the 
first to put forward. 

Berkeley fails in legitimate Psychological Explanation. 

The psychologist has no right to assume object, viz. the 
object he is going to explain. By this I do not mean that 
the psychologist, beginning his scientific procedure with an 
account of the senses, has no right to assume an external 
world affecting his body and senses. He is bound, for 
instance, to assume the sun and his own eye before he can 
give any account of sense-experience in regard to vision. 
Thinkers of the Hegelian, or, as it is sometimes called, the 



xvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 159 

neo-Kantian, school of Green are constantly insisting that 
the psychologist assumes what he afterwards professes to 
explain, and that it is only thus that he contrives to explain. 
Green made out very cleverly that this was the case with 
Locke, but though the charge is here well founded, it is not 
so when made against philosophers who seek to reason on 
a psychological basis. It is one thing to assume sun and eye 
in order to get language to explain sensation ; it is another 
to assume that we have explained what the sun ultimately is. 
We go on afterwards as philosophers to explain in subjective 
terms the very things which as psychologists we were bound 
to assume, and I say that Berkeley s great merit was to see 
that nothing was present in primary qualities of object which 
we cannot explain. But then he did not go on to give this 
explanation : he did not see that primary qualities are dif 
ferent from secondary, and why they are so. Why are some 
forms of our experience of more account for making up our 
knowledge of that pillar than others ? 

Berkeley "s Fundamental Assumption. 

So far Berkeley s statements have appeared as negative 
criticism, but he had constructive aims. He felt it necessary 
to give a consistent theory of things, a theory which would 
sufficiently explain the facts of science and also satisfy all the 
demands of religious conceptions and of every-day experi 
ence. Now the fundamental necessary assumption on which 
\ he grounds his theory is the existence of one infinite spirit 
and other finite spirits. What we call Nature is only a mere 
orderly sequence of ideas/ and these are brought to pass 
by the real causation of the infinite spirit in the minds of 
finite spirits, these being so far like the infinite spirit that 
they too can have ideas. 



160 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

After Berkeley. Hume. 

Berkeley s argument against the validity of the distinction 
between primary and secondary qualities was completely 
accepted by Hume. He did not dwell on this side of the 
problem, regarding it as finally made out that, from the 
point of view of psychology, or, as he would have expressed 
it, of philosophical consideration, there was no ultimate 
ground for Locke s division. But he went on to assert that, 
on the same grounds on which Berkeley had declared that 
beyond ideas aggregated in certain ways we could get no 
knowledge of matter, it would be no less incontestably 
established that it was impossible to get below ideas, or 
subjective states in general, or subjective phenomenal experi 
ence, to the existence of mind. Just as matter was resolved 
by Berkeley into ideas expressed in certain ways, so by the 
same kind of resolution was mind reduced by Hume to what 
we may call a phenomenal expression. 

Hume worked this out as a part of his general dialectic, 
in which he was really concerned not to set up any positive 
theory of knowledge, but rather to follow the bent of his 
mind and show that when philosophers attempted from their 
reasoning to make out the ultimate nature of things and 
dogmatically to determine all that is, they were going a great 
de al beyond the legitimate sphere of knowledge. His theory 
of Substance is the first serious and anything like sufficient 
attempt to give a psychological explanation. He dwells 
especially upon the amount of representation (work of 
imagination) involved in objective perception, but fails in 
not distinguishing either the psychological factor of muscular 
activity, as lying at the basis of all objective synthesis, or 
the social factor. - Asa positive theory it is to be described 
as an inadequately filled-in Phenomenalism. I am not 



XVL] Elements of General Philosophy. 161 

concerned here to defend Hume s argument, which to me 
is imperfect in the last degree. But it is irrefutably true in 
maintaining that all our knowledge, whether of matter or of 
mind, is confined to phenomenal aspects. Of either, save 
in their phenomenal aspects, we know nothing. 

Kant s Idealism. 

Now Hume argued sceptically, so as to imply that human 
knowledge was next to nothing. Kant, on the other hand, 
while he accepted Hume s general position in this matter, 
was of those who hold that human knowledge is of a very 
positive nature. Kant distinctly declared that all our know 
ledge was of phenomena. He declared indeed that for our 
knowledge of physical phenomena we are not wholly depen 
dent upon experience, inasmuch as we can make a priori 
determinations about nature; nevertheless these determina 
tions are always about nature as phenomenal. But in regard 
to our knowledge of mind, we are positively confined to 
experience. However much we ascribe our subjective states 
to an Ego, we commit a paralogism if we claim to know 
mind otherwise than in its manifestations. 

Kant takes up the question in quite a different way from 
the English thinkers. He is concerned mainly with the 
general theory of knowledge, within which theory he has 
of course a view about the material world as such. And 
that view I bring into relation not only with Hume, but also 
with Berkeley. Kant agrees with the latter in refusing to 
allow the distinction between primary and secondary qualities, 
declaring that the former are to use his own terms just 
as subjective or phenomenal as the latter. And though he 
has by no means the same explanation of extension as 
Berkeley, though he does not declare, as Berkeley does, 



1 62 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

that for our apprehension of extension we are dependent 
entirely upon experience, and that it is developed by associa 
tion of touches and sights, yet he, even more expressly 
than Berkeley, declares that the extension of things is no 
real objective quality of them. For, as we saw, he declares 
that space is a mere subjective form of sensibility. According 
to Kant there is positively nothing in our perception of this 
table which is not subjective. Kant in this respect is an 
Idealist not an empirical Idealist, since he does not suppose 
that all the (subjective) elements into which we could analyse 
this table are such as come to us by way of experience. 
And he even accuses Berkeley s Idealism of making matter 
out to be illusory because it is phenomenal, showing herein 
a very imperfect apprehension of the latter s theory. 

Kant s Realism. 

But Kant does not rest in this Idealism. Beyond pheno 
mena knowledge, for him, cannot go; nevertheless he declared 
that phenomena imply an underlying reality which he called 
the thing in itself, or noiimenon. The former is the less 
misleading term, since noiimenon suggests a knowing 
subject no less than phenomenon. Thing-in-itself, then, 
for him underlay the double stream of experience, subjective 
and objective, constituting probably a single existence or 
entity, if that might be called existence or entity which he 
admitted was an unknown quantity. Self as a particular 
entity with a possibly immortal future we could hold only 
as a moral conviction. 

The Ding an sich an inconsistent Theory. 
Now Kant declared that all things in themselves are in 
relation to, or ideas of, pure reason ; it is on the ground 



xvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 163 

of this pure reason that we hold them to exist in other 
words, it is a necessity of reason that gives a foundation for 
noiimena. But then he is placed under this difficulty : 
if it is upon the ground of reason that we assert these things 
to exist, have we any rational knowledge of them? This 
he was forward to deny, saying that through reason as such 
no knowledge proper is possible. In the same breath, then, 
in which he posits, as beyond phenomena, the thing in itself 
as what cannot be theoretically known, he assumes it as the 
cause of sensations in us, which we group and interpret 
in various ways as knowledge. He supposed therefore that 
when we have a sensation, say, of colour, received according 
to the law of our being in time and space, and worked 
up into knowledge according to the categories or laws of 
the understanding, this phenomenon of colour was really 
explicable from a thing in itself, the character of which 
he did not pretend further to define, which he most con 
fidently asserted was not in space or time, nor subject to 
the categories, and yet to which he applied the category 
of cause. This seems to me the fundamental inconsistency 
in his philosophy. 

Reids and Hamilton s Eclecticism,. 

I now come to the English stream of thought to show 
what followed upon Hume s scepticism. Reid, while he 
contested Hume s philosophy altogether and, like Kant, 
set up a general theory of knowledge, was more especially 
moved to criticise both Berkeley and Hume in their theories 
of the external world. His whole philosophy was accom 
modated to his own theory of this problem, And his theory 
is that, however philosophers may give a subjective expres 
sion to the qualities of matter, yet at the last the philosophical 

M 2 



164 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

position should be that of common sense, namely, that 
underneath qualities there is a real entity existing apart from 
the mind. You do not want, he said, a theory of the 
external world. Open your eyes and see it! In the very 
fact of perception there is a present apprehension both of 
subject and of object, opposed entities, real existences. This 
view is also called Natural Realism and Natural Dualism, 
because it agrees with the common view. It may be said 
that this after all is only Kantianism, with its assertion 
of our conviction that things exist in themselves. But Reid 
went further and declared, as against Berkeley and Hume, 
that, however it might be with secondary qualities and 
these he gave up this real entity outside of us had as 
inherent qualities of its own those called primary. Thus 
he directly took up the position declared by Berkeley to be 
untenable. 

But the champion of common sense was, as Hamilton 
pointed out (v. p. 820 of his edition of Reid), by no means 
always consistent with himself. At times he declared that 
on the ground of common sense real things exist outside 
of us, with qualities of extension and so forth ; at other times 
he falls back upon the position which Hamilton called 
Representationism, namely, that our sensible apprehension 
of things, our mental experience, is a mere substitute or 
representative for a reality beyond, for which we cannot 
find an expression that both primary and secondary qualities, 
instead of being at once subjective and objective facts, or 
in other words mental experience and real qualities, merely 
represent that ultimate undefmable reality. 

And while I bring here no charge against Reid that is not 
brought against him by his follower Hamilton, I bring this 
further charge against both, that they depart from the 



xvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 165 

position of common sense to the extent of depriving matter 
of all secondary qualities. Now it is unquestionable that, 
in the apprehension of every-day life, we ascribe colour as 
confidently to external things as we ascribe form. If in 
philosophising we are to go by common sense at all, we 
must go by it altogether. This reserve then is objectionable 
and opens their whole theory to doubt. Hamilton often 
says that if the testimony of consciousness is false in one 
thing it is false in everything. But my consciousness gives 
me the same evidence for the secondary as for the primary 
qualities. His eclecticism shows that the views of the man 
in the street are not necessarily correct. And his theory 
of the immediateness and intuitiveness of our knowledge of 
an external world involve an absolute element that is at 
variance with the philosophical doctrine of the Relativity of 
Knowledge J Everything known is only known in relation 
to a knowing mind which he assents to and asserts. 

We cannot take either common sense or consciousness as 
our ultimate referendum, and then accept or reject this or 
that in its testimony as we please. My opinion is that what 
ever common sense may say, it is common sense that says 
it, and common sense is one thing and philosophic insight 
another. 

Ferrier in this generation has with very great force done 
over again the work accomplished by Berkeley in the last 
century. He has done it, if not in the full light of modern 
psychology, and rather in a metaphysical than a psychological 
way, yet with a force of thought and expression not to be 
surpassed. He may be studied either in his Institutes of 
Metaphysic or his Posthumous Works. 

1 Distinguish from the psychological theory of Relativity, viz. in 
knowing a thing we know it as distinct from something else. 



166 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Spencerian Transfigured Realism 

Mr. Herbert Spencer s Transfigured Realism (as he him 
self classes it) is really nothing more than what, in Hamilton s 
classification of theories of External Perception, is called 
Cosmothetic Idealism. Mr. Spencer himself, it is true, says, 
Realist I am, only not a crude Realist, i. e. with the Realism 
of popular opinion which imputes all my special sensations 
to things outside of me. But he goes further and, like Kant, 
denies that even primary qualities are inherent in real sub 
stances, noiimena, or things in themselves. And he ends by 
saying, not professedly in the language of common sense, 
which he rather scouts, and yet in language which practically 
comes to that, that we have a fundamental certainty, the 
deepest certainty of our being, that object exists as opposed 
to subject, and subject exists as opposed to object. He does 
not, like Hamilton, insist on the essence of object being 
extension, but he declares that in any act of perception 
there is involved the ultimate certainty that there is an object 
outside of and apart from the percipient. 

Now if a thinker like, e. g. Hamilton or Reid asserts this 
opposition of object and subject with the view of establishing 
a duality of substances, I can understand the position and 
see the force of it. This is what we certainly do assume in 
daily life, and it is open for any philosopher to say that his 
object is to give a philosophical expression to that assump 
tion. But in the case of Mr. Spencer, who scouts the notion 
of a human being consisting of two entities, mind and body, 
mutually opposed, all the pother that he makes on this 
point (in ch. xviii of Vol. II of his Psychology] seems to 
me, I must confess, to come to no more than much ado 
about nothing. Why he should be so anxious to make out 
an opposition of object and subject outside of conscious- 



xvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 167 

ness to explain what is in consciousness I cannot, from his 
point of view, for a moment understand. Take the passage : 
Realism, then, would be positively justified even were the 
genesis of this consciousness of existence beyond conscious 
ness inexplicable (ch. xix). I say that this is a contradiction 
in terms, and so much so, that when he comes afterwards to 
give an explanation of this consciousness of existence out of 
consciousness, it turns out to be after all altogether in terms 
of consciousness and he has not got to it at all ! He has 
only got consciousness of existence that is in consciousness. 



For LECTURE XVII read : 

Bain, op. cit. Perception of a Material World, pp. 197 et seq. 

The student may with profit consult also Leibniz s essays, La Monado- 
logie and Principes de la Nature et de la Grace fonde s en Raison 
((Euvres, ed. Paul Janet, vol. ii. pp. 594-617). ED. 



LECTURE XVII. 

THE PERCEPTION OF AN EXTERNAL (OR MATERIAL) 

WORLD (continued], 
The Circle of Consciousness. 

FOR my own part I agree in this matter essentially with 
Professor Bain and also with Mill. I hold with them, with 
Berkeley, Ferrier and others, that outside of the circle of our 
consciousness it is perfectly impossible to get. Mr. Spencer 
aims at doing so, at getting a consciousness of object outside 
of consciousness, claiming this as a more certain, funda 
mental testimony of consciousness than anything else. I 
cannot understand the words. I do not see how we can 
work with a conception like that. I go further. In daily life 
we do work with such a conception, we do really suppose 
things to be outside of us with qualities that demonstrably 
can not be outside of us. But however we may in the 
street get on with this, from the point of view of philo 
sophical consideration I cannot but call it with Berkeley 
a self-contradiction, and I frankly confess that I do not 
pretend to give any account of an object not in conscious 
ness, nor of a subject not in consciousness. I cannot help 
it. I would if I could ; but I do not think it can be done. 
The whole of this discussion can take place only from the 
point of view of consciousness, and we can never get away 
from that point of view. What is the good of trying to get 
away from it and pretending by mere words that we do so ? 



Elements of General Philosophy. 169 

That we do so in daily life does not alter the philosophical 
truth of the matter. Any object that I can make out in the 
universe, I cannot pretend to make out except with regard 
to my mind. So Professor Bain (p. 197): There is no 
such thing known as a tree wholly detached from perception/ 
&c. But within that circle I am anxious to make out and 
more anxious than either he or Mill, for I think the treatment 
in both writers is incomplete that there is an opposition 
of what cannot better be expressed than by subject and 
object/ And I think that this is an opposition which 
should find expression in such terms as psychological inquiry 
can justify, and such as, in respect of philosophical import, 
may be admitted to contain the ultimate rationale of what 
undoubtedly is the fact in our common every-day experience, 
the fact that we do posit mind and matter as independent 
existences apart from consciousness, out of consciousness, or 
even without the slightest reference thereto. In common life 
when we see anything we usually leave ourselves entirely out 
of account. It never for a moment occurs to us that we 
have anything to do with it. 

Berkeley claimed that his Idealism really expressed the 
thought of people in common : that to the popular mind 
external object is really whatever can be felt, seen, &c., of 
it 1 , and that the kind of abstract substance supposed by 
metaphysicians to underlie the qualities of matter is really 
made no account of in the popular conception. There is 
some foundation for his view. If we abstract from our table 

1 Cf. op. cit. I, 6: Some truths there are so near and obvious to 
the mind that a man need only open his eyes to see them. Such 
. . . that all the choir of heaven and furniture of the earth . . . have 
not any subsistence without a mind that their being is to be perceived 
or known, &c. ED. 



170 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

all its qualities and yet retain for it a metaphysical entity, this 
is clearly what the popular mind cannot or does not take 
account of. Still I do not think what Berkeley said is correct. 
However true it may be that the popular mind expresses in 
terms of sensation the character of external things, I think 
it is unquestionable that, in the popular apprehension of us 
all, we do ascribe a perfectly independent existence to these 
aggregates. Berkeley said, to be is to be perceived. This 
cannot be said to be the popular apprehension. Perception 
is an accident in the popular mind. Commonly we conceive 
the qualities as real objective qualities of a real existing thing. 
And I think that this popular apprehension must find its 
explanation. If psychology leads us to take up another 
position from that of common sense, it is bound to give 
some kind of explanation of this. If it holds that there is 
an unwarrantable assumption in these things, it must yet 
give some explanation of how it came to be made. I am 
not saying that we are bound to do this for perceptions of 
daily life. If we did, we should not get on as well as we 
do. Human action, human life, is one thing, philosophical 
insight, I repeat, is another. I have no disposition to hide 
the difficulties of the case, but I think that psychology should 
be able not only to give a scientific explanation of subject 
in relation to object circumspectly expressed, but also to 
explain how it is that this opposition of subject and object 
within consciousness becomes aggrandised into an opposition 
of mind and matter apart from each other, and which, 
generally speaking, rather leaves mind out of account and 
ascribes to matter, erroneously as I think, an absolute exist 
ence. For this is the way of the, to me, utterly unphilo- 
sophical doctrine of Materialism : it assumes matter to be 
a real existence apart from mind, and then pretends from 



XVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 171 

this to explain mind. The most monstrous inversion of the 
rational course that can possibly be conceived ! First through 
mind to get a notion of matter, then to objectify it and give 
it absolute existence, and then from this to explain mind! 
The very term * phenomenon used in science implies that 
the assumptions it makes are not ultimate. 

Object developed by way of Active Sense. 

Now I think that Professor Bain, better than many thinkers, 
lays hold of that element of difference, that means of 
differentiation within the circle of consciousness through 
which the opposition of object and subject is developed. 
He lays his finger on this when he brings out, first, as the 
fundamental element in the object-consciousness, the differ 
ence in our experience between passive sensations and 
consciousness of energy put forth, and next that all passive 
sensations, which in themselves fall to subject as opposed to 
object, like colour or sound, since they are found to vary 
definitely with our consciousness of activity put forth, come 
to be transferred from the subject to the object side of the 
account. We come to project them, and so absolutely, that 
we cannot now have them otherwise than as qualities outside 
of us. So that when we have made this transfer, we have 
left for subject all those sensations that do not vary with our 
movements as well as the whole of our representative and 
emotional life (using emotional to correspond with emotion 
only and not with sense-feeling as well). 

Explanation of the Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities. 

It is this consciousness that we have in connexion with 
muscular activity, or rather, active sense, which gives the 
real psychological explanation of the difference between 



172 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

so-called primary and secondary qualities of matter. The latter 
are the result of our passive sense ; all the former, except the 
dubious case of number/ being the result of complex active 
sense. So Locke was only exaggerating a distinction of real 
importance, while Berkeley, in trying to break down all 
distinction, was not doing well. He never gave prominence 
to the fact that we cannot apprehend primary qualities of 
matter without activity of ours put forth. He approximates 
towards an analysis of touch in his Theory of Vision ( 45), 
but does not clearly distinguish between active and passive 
touch. 

Mill s Contribution. 

While Professor Bain takes good account of the material 
elements in explaining the development of this opposition of 
subject and object, he scarcely brings forward sufficiently the 
intellectual laws that are involved. Mill, on the other hand, 
in his Psychological Theory of the External World, while he 
gives a much less careful statement of the material factors, 
gives a careful and relatively correct statement of the laws 
under which this development takes place. The two taken 
together, read with discernment, will afford the kind of 
explanation that can be given from the psychological point 
of view of the development of the opposition. 

Object and Subject in the Germ. 

I say development, implying that originally this opposition 
was not present in consciousness that, even in the lifetime 
of the individual, there is a time when in the growing 
experience of the child this opposition begins to develop. 
I hold that the vague, discrete consciousness of the infant, 
while it may be called consciousness, is not to be distinguished 
as subjective or as objective consciousness in the sense 



XVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 173 

afterwards meant by these words. It is discrete, else there 
would not be the fundamental condition of consciousness, 
i. e. discrimination, but it is too vague to admit of that 
opposition being present. Probably this comes to be at 
different times in different minds. At some moment in 
the history of every mind the confused, vague consciousness 
centres itself, or a beginning of separation is made, and 
thenceforth to one term or the other all experiences begin to 
be referred. I do not say that it is not possible for us, and 
possible with a certain scientific ground, to interpret our 
experiences, before the separation takes place, as having 
a subjective meaning. Unless what afterwards comes to be 
object had arisen within our individual experience and in 
that sense been subjective, we never could have got to the 
separation at all. And I accept the relativity of knowledge 
in the fullest sense that we can have an experience of 
object only in relation to subject. But I assert also that 
there is no subject-experience until there is object-experience. 
Each implies the other. 

Now philosophers who have laid stress upon this and 
made object and subject, or matter and mind, two separate 
entities, have in one way aggrandised this opposition 
developed within our psychological experience, but not so 
aggrandised it as to have overlooked the mutual implication. 
In popular apprehension this is overlooked. And the 
scientific excuse for maintaining this exaggerated separation 
is that it affords an excellent working hypothesis for the 
purposes of objective science. 

Projected Personality fills up the Import of Object. 

And there is this important element still : When we talk 
about an object outside of us we give but an inadequate 



174 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

account of it if we express it psychologically in terms of 
movements of ours and so forth. To each such object we 
ascribe more or less a subjective existence for itself. Every 
thing to me is object primarily, and my subject is as it were 
to me alone. But I come to see, in the first place, that of 
all my objective experience there is a certain part more 
constantly in connexion with my special subjective states 
than any other; and that is my body. I come to think of 
myself as a composite entity, and not only as two kinds 
of experience, but as a prominent subject in relation to 
a relatively prominent object. 

Next, I find amongst other outside objects various objective 
experiences resembling those I have from my own body, but 
not quite similar, else I should mistake them for my own body, 
and for that matter rendered distinct by the absence of the 
double touches afforded by my own body. To the sources 
of these, on the ground of the similar experiences they 
afford me, I ascribe conscious states resembling my own 
a subjective and also an objective experience. 

Finally, even when there is no such similarity, I ascribe 
an adumbration of subjective life. I do not ascribe to this 
table the power of putting forth activity, or the feelings that 
I ascribe to my hearers or claim for myself. But in as far as 
I talk about the table as a thing able to enter into relation 
with other things, and in particular with myself, I do give it 
a kind of quasi-personality ; and I believe that this element 
can never be absent from object entirely. In primitive 
minds we have the tendency to ascribe full life to everything, 
as we see happen in fetish-worship. Children too have this 
anthropomorphic interpretation of experience, e.g. when 
they kick the chair they have hurt their shins against. It is 
a natural tendency that we have this interpreting what we 



XVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 175 

experience as analogous to our own subject. And I believe 
that this is only an exaggeration of what each of us does, 
and needs to do, in order fully to body out any object. 
Unless I give the table as it were a highly attenuated 
personality, I do not think I get full objective experience, 
I do not think I get at that in my consciousness of object 
which is metaphysically expressed as substance. 

The Psychological Explanation of Substance. 

For we may insist that all qualities have their psychological 
expression in terms of sensible experience, we may insist, 
with respect to qualities, on the historically fundamental 
character of resistance how that object is first obstacle, or 
impediment in the way of activity, and that object so got is 
interpreted through experience as extended, so that space 
is body attenuated rather than body is space filled in and 
yet, when we have finished this analysis of the psychological 
conception of perception, it may be urged that from the 
point of view of the metaphysical conception of perception 
the question may still be asked, Is the object there reaU 
Is it anything for itself 1 This is a question not to be 
answered apart from psychology, but it should not therefore 
be evaded. Popularly judged, there is in our pillar some 
thing more than resistance, extension, colour, and any 
number of qualities. It is said, there is a substance there. 
Psychology then has to explain substance as well as attribute. 
Now, as we have seen, my consciousness presents me to 
myself under a subjective as well as under an objective 
aspect. I am an extended object and I have a subjective 
life, a consciousness, a personal identity. And I attribute to 
you both body and consciousness. But it is your conscious 
ness that is to me the reality of you. You are not so much 



176 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

a bundle of qualities which give me impressions as the 
conscious being who has these sensible aspects. Turning 
to animals, we find ourselves attributing subjective life to 
them also. And, going lower still, what we ascribe to the 
pillar as reality or substance is something analogous to that 
which in us is personality. Its substantiality, as opposed 
to its qualities, is a pale reflexion of our own subjective 
experience. Substance is at bottom subjectivity. This is 
the psychological explanation of the popular notion of differ 
ence of substance and quality, which was overlooked by 
Berkeley, Hume, Mill, and Professor Bain. 

The Weakness in Berkeley s Theory. 

Berkeley said that supposing it were the case, that the 
qualities of matter were to occur to us in a certain orderly 
and definite manner, and yet suppose that there was no 
substance there, would you miss this substratum or support ? 
His answer is No, we should not, even as we do not in 
dreams (op. cit. I, 18). Then, he says, we have no right to 
assume it; and he claims that all he has to account for in 
perception is the orderliness of experience, which he does by 
assuming an Infinite Spirit. And he works round to his 
original position by the argument: If the only account 
which scientific men can give of substance is a confused 
idea of something supporting sensible qualities, what shadow 
of right have they to say that matter is the only real thing 
in the universe, and that where there is no matter there 
is nothing at all? His demonstration then is that there 
is nothing whatsoever in the notion of substance which is 
not accountable for as sensible quality, or if there is, it 
is nothing at all. 

Has Berkeley got rid of substance altogether in overturning 



XVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 177 

either the crude materialism of scientific men or Locke s 
unsatisfactory account ? Have we come to this, that there 
is in the world only an Infinite Spirit and a certain number 
of other spirits, and can we not ascribe a real existence to 
anything but God, Berkeley and other spirits like himself? 
To me his theory comes as short here as it does in the 
explanation of primary and secondary qualities. There is 
no doubt that the notion of substance is reasonable, and that 
while the common sense, which has found Berkeleianism 
repugnant, is no final criterion, it is yet a fact that philosophy 
must take into account, and that too when it says, A pillar 
zs there! Berkeley can get a coherent universe only by 
supposing a number of other minds plus the Deity. Here is 
rank assumption! Where are all these minds? He may be 
conscious of his own mind, but how then can he be sure of 
other minds ? He ought to be able, from the point of view 
of his psychological experience, to account for this conviction. 
He would have given another answer had he faced the 
question, How can a mind allow other minds as existing ? 

Through Mind to Bodies ; through Bodies to other Minds. 

My own conviction, as I have already shown, is that 
I infer consciousness in others through my sense-perception of 
them as bodies. Let me be mind only, and I could never get 
out of myself. If I assume that minds like mine are, so to 
say, present, it is because I perceive bodies like mine. If 
your bodies do not exist, why, mine does not. My con 
viction of the double phase of my existence is strengthened 
by finding that I have objective experience of other bodies, 
which suggests the existence of other minds. And this 
conviction, by way of inference that material bodies like 
mine exist, is extended to animals, to which mind is ascribed 

N 



178 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

because of external manifestations. It is only an extension 
of the same notion to posit the existence of all living things. 

Then where may we draw the line ? There is no material 
object perceived by me which is not for me something 
more than an aggregate of (Berkeleian) ideas. By what 
way I become sure of you, I become sure of all objects, 
because I interpret my experience upon the distinction 
I make between body and mind. In a sense my body is 
real enough, just as animals, trees, pillars, &c., have all in 
a very real sense a substantial existence, which is not 
adequately accounted for by merely assuming the Deity and 
a few human subjects. But bodily processes are explainable 
as mental facts, and not vice versa : these are for us ultimate ; 
these explain. Though I am body as well as mind, the 
reality of me lies in the continuity of my conscious being. 
/ am because I am subjectively conscious there is my 
reality. And where I can infer subjective consciousness 
I say you too are real/ This, extended further, is for me 
the explanation of the metaphysical notion of substance. 
We may express substance in terms of quality, viz. as 
Resistance, but quality in terms of substance needs Sub 
ject. Let no one say that because that pillar is perceived 
as substance by analogy of my consciousness of myself as 
subject, it is therefore taken up into my own being. If 
I fritter away the reality of substance, what remains of my 
own reality and that of others? There is just the same 
reason for accepting the reality of external objects apart 
from the thinker as there is for accepting other conscious 
nesses. The world of sense is just as real to Berkeley as 
it is to the man in the street. The truth in his teaching 
suggests to fresh students a distressful sense of a desolate 
universe with the ground cut away from under their feet. 



xvii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 179 

Any philosophic satisfaction that they win will, it may be, 
come slowly through struggle, wrestling and trial. The 
transition, however won through, is a necessary process, but 
it leaves us with quite as real a world, nay, a world more 
real than we had before. If I say, I am and none other 
is the motto of Solipsism this is a position from which 
I cannot be dislodged, and it is the only logical position 
for Berkeley. But once I allow other minds, then by the 
same argument I allow other things, since it is through per 
ception of bodies that I get at minds. Mind, then, is that 
which is absolutely existing ; mind is the ultimate expression. 

Ago ergo sum. 

Let us pursue the analogy between subject and substance 
one step further and deeper. If we resolve the material 
thing into its physical constituents and stop at molecules, we 
are still at the stage of qualities. But if we go beyond sense 
to inference and come to the theoretic atom, we no longer 
apprehend matter by way of qualities, yet we are compelled 
to consider the atom as endowed with a certain inherent 
activity, with force or energy. Matter is not dead when 
thus considered ; it is only in mass that it deports itself as 
relatively dead. Now here, in this energy, we get a mean 
term relating to matter in its ultimate being and our own 
personality as we subjectively know it. For the reality of 
our being consists most fully in putting forth activity, in 
willing. I am, in another and fuller sense, as I will or put 
forth activity. So too as far as atoms exert energy they 
really are. Force then in the atom and force in the individual 
constitutes real existence, and is the fullest expression of 
mind. Mind exists everywhere, and must be carried down 
to explain any true reality. 

N 2 



180 Elements of General Philosophy. 

Thus we may take advantage of all material phenomena 
in order to help in the consideration of mind. This is in no 
sense a materialistic position. Atoms when in combination 
appear so extended, yet the atom is not extended. Exten 
sion is only the ultimate phenomenal appearance of matter. 
I assume that the universe consists of elements which are 
not extended, which appear when in conjunction as extended, 
and which are ultimately expressible in terms of mind. 
This is the Leibnizian conception of monads, which in 
conjunction appear to a conscious mind as extended, but 
taken alone are not extended, and whose ultimate expression 
is in terms of activity. Monadology is the ultimate philo 
sophical analysis of the universe, with its fundamental 
postulate of real beings, immaterial, unextended, having 
power to act, of which conscious activity is a higher phase. 
Here is the platform of philosophical agreement. 



LECTURE XVIII. 

REGULATIVE PHILOSOPHICAL DOCTRINE. 

The Regulation of the Three Phases of Mind. 

I HAVE made allusion in the first lecture of this course to 
philosophy as connoting, under the aspect of love of wisdom, 
a reference to practice ; I also claimed in the psycho 
logical course that philosophy included logic as well as 
ethics ; and I spoke later on of a regulative doctrine of 
feeling. Not only feeling, but also intellection and conation 
admit of being regulated in order to an end or ideal. We 
may think, for instance, amiss or well. Now logic deals 
with the conditions of good and bad, i. e. true and false, 
thinking with thought so as to make it true. Again, action 
can be made good and feeling beautiful. Ethics, accordingly, 
is regulative doctrine with a view to making action good. 
And aesthetics considers feelings, sees which of them 
admit of development towards a certain end, namely, beauty 
or refinement. 

The fact that we can distinguish these three regulative 
bodies of doctrine, mutually independent, mutually unre- 
solvable, exhaustive, is to be regarded as one of the strongest 
arguments for the tripartite division of mind. In psychology 



182 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

it is often hard to isolate them and secure their independence. 
But we can distinguish well enough that intellection in the 
end has to be made true, conation in the end has to be 
made good, feeling has to be raised to the grade of the 
beautiful. And we cannot add hereto ; the summary is 
exhaustive. 

Law as Generalisation and Law as Norm. 

Whereas psychology explains mind, these doctrines are 
occupied with the regulation of mental functions. In the 
one case we explain what is (or rather appears], in the other 
we regulate the phenomenon with a view to an end. Clearly 
then in the latter case we are beyond psychology. We have 
passed from Phenomenology to use Hamilton s terms to 
Nomology ; we are dealing with norms, which, it is true, are 
laws, but not laws in the scientific sense. Scientific law ex 
plains, i.e. expresses the complex in terms of the simple, the 
particular in terms more general. Thus the function of 
psychology is to explain by classing mental phenomena 
together, or generalising with respect to them. For instance, 
according to the law of similarity, whenever we form concepts 
we are assimilating. But in the logical sense thinking is 
being consistent. If you are not consistent, you are a 
vegetable/ Here then is law as norm. Psychology has 
nothing to do with action as good, any more than it has with 
thought as true, but simply with any kind of action. It deals 
with mental action as it naturally comes to pass. 

The Connexion between Psychology and Practical Philosophy. 

These three doctrines then come under philosophy, not as 
a certain deeper kind of knowledge, but as involving that 
certain practical bearing as implied by wisdom, which 



xvni.] Elements of General Philosophy. 183 

philosophy had at first and will have again. They are de 
partments of philosophy in its practical reference, ethics being 
the branch most closely identified with philosophy thus con 
sidered. Ethics is philosophy as regulative of conduct, logic 
and aesthetics being philosophy as regulative of thought and 
of feeling. Philosophy results, eventuates, is consummated 
in ethics, inasmuch as philosophical consideration always in 
the end must be regarded as having an ethical direction, as 
having its outcome in guidance of conduct, whether the 
Ethics be blended with religion or not. Wisdom has reference 
to conduct ; good conduct is wise ; wise conduct is good : 
hence ethics is a philosophical discipline. 

Logic regarded as a Science. 

From a certain point of view these doctrines may be 
regarded as science and treated advisedly from the scientific 
point of view. Let us take logic first and classify the 
sciences as once before (v. Appendix) into objective and sub 
jective sciences. Now though logic is not a science when 
considered as in any way dependent upon psychology, yet, 
considered by itself, it is a science, and moreover it must be 
placed at the head of the objective sciences. For just as 
chemistry is more special than physics, and physics more 
special than mathematics, so is mathematics more special 
than logic. Every one of the sciences, so far as it is a logy, 
is a specialised logic ; and before logic there can be nothing. 
But when it is thus considered, it must not be said to be 
conversant with thought, since this is essentially a subjective 
notion. It becomes the science of relation \ and relation is 
as wide objectively as thought is subjectively. Things as 

1 Not of quality, which, as it includes quantity, would include 
mathematics as well. 



184 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT 

thinkable are, objectively considered, things as relateable. 
Nevertheless logic is not so much a science as a condition 
of science. 

Ethics regarded as a Science. 

Ethics again may be considered as the science investigating 
the various ways in which men have been found to act in 
relation to men, and on this basis of historical investigation 
rules how to act in the best way may be framed. This 
scientific view of ethics has followed from the evolution 
theory and rather holds the field, Messrs. Spencer and Leslie 
Stephen being the chief exponents. Ethics is concerned with 
good conduct followed by not all individuals and nations. 
To get a science we must examine the meanings of good and 
bad, what good, and what bad, men do. Facts have to be 
collected from all times and a progressive or regressive 
development sought. This view is an extension of evolution 
as first applied only to biological, and then to anthropological 
conceptions ; man as considered in respect of his origin, as 
evolved, and morality as a product of evolution, appearing 
in time. 

Unquestionably we may proceed thus. Ethics may be 
regarded as the science dealing with moral conduct as mani 
festing itself throughout time, and the development of ethical 
notions as the business of the ethical philosopher. Mr. Spencer 
too, the great systematiser of evolution, says, with Comte, 
that ethics is a science dependent upon sociology and not 
upon psychology, although his work on psychology is put 
first. Morality is regarded as a historical social fact an 
affair between man and man. The theory of man s social 
relations is sociology, and some only of those relations are 
moral. Ethics is a more specialised sociology. As logic 



XVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 185 

may be regarded as the science of things as related, so ethics 
may be considered as the science of action as practicable, of 
such actions as men can get on with amongst themselves. 
Indeed much ethical matter can and ought, much more than 
it has been, to be treated scientifically, inductively, with 
verification from history. 

Scientific Treatment does not exhaust Ethics. 
But no ultimate problems can be thus fairly gone into. 
Unawares the scientific moralist is ever making philosophical 
assumptions which he ought to justify there and then. For 
instance, whatever is, is right ; if a moral custom is found 
in use, it is because it is right/ Here is an assumption 
which may not be justified by scientific consideration alone. 
Again, the conditions of human welfare are those of human 
being; why need men be dissatisfied with what they find? 
this is a philosophical consideration. The ideal morality, 
the morality of the future, is an inevitable point in ethics, but 
it cannot be prescribed without pronouncing some one goal 
preferable. Now why any one in particular ? This is not a 
question of matter of fact, but of what were better or worse, and 
needing a criterion of the same. It may not be adequately 
answered by direct facts of sociological experience, but needs 
deeper consideration even philosophical. There is room, I 
say, for plentiful investigation of manners, for inductive inquiry 
into human relations down the course of history. Already 
we see a development of ethical conceptions, an ethical 
progress, a change of ideals. But what is an ideal ? What 
is good ? And what, we ask at this time of day, as ask we 
must what direction ought human action to take? The 
problem of ethics is not soluble by purely scientific analysis ; 
we cannot help being philosophical. Very much from 



i86 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

evolutionary science we can accept, but it just misses the 
point in that it does not adequately treat of the consciously 
aimed at, the ideal. 

Finally, let not this view (of ethics as a science) be made 
light of; let the works of its exponents be read, but 
critically, and it will be seen how Mr. Leslie Stephen, 
scouting metaphysic as he does, is as much a metaphysician 
as any one, and how Mr. Spencer really deals not only with 
facts, but also with aims, ends, ideals. 

Logic and Psychology the Bond and the Distinction. 

Logic derives the materials it works upon from psychology; 
it has to regulate that function of mind which, psychologically, 
we distinguish as intellection. It does not however deal with 
the whole of intellection, but only with that higher or more 
complex mode which we have termed thought/ Now why 
is thought the only part of intellection that can be logically 
regulated ? 

Let us first consider some of the definitions of logic : 

(a] The science of reasoning ; 

() The art of reasoning ; 

(c) The science of the operations of the understanding 
which are subservient to the estimation of evidence, i. e. in 
the pursuit of truth. 

Of these (a) is not quite acceptable, for surely psychology 
as the science of mind includes the science of reasoning ; and 
the statement is now admitted to be insufficient. It confuses 
logic with psychology. ($) avoids the error of (a); psychology 
can under no circumstances be termed an art. An art has 
a practical outcome, and logic tells us how we ought to 
reason in order to reason correctly or effectively. An art 
is a science definitely applied, and this sort of applied science 



xviii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 187 

is what logicians most probably wished to assert as the nature 
of logical procedure. Any confusion between the two is 
really only verbal. Nobody pretends that logic and psychology 
deal with reasoning in the same way. But logic has to do 
with much besides reasoning/ namely, with judgment, as 
expressed in propositions, and with names or terms which 
correspond to concepts. Hence Hamilton s definition, that 
logic has to do with thought, as thought is a real advance 
towards justice and accuracy. Logic, he also said, is the 
science of the necessary laws of thought. Bare thought as 
explained by psychology is all very well, but it is not as real 
or effective thought that psychology can take account of it. 
In order to be effective, valid, true, thought has to conform 
to certain definite conditions, to necessary rather than to 
natural laws. But it is in Mill s definition (c) that we may 
best gather how logic differs from psychology. Under 
standing has of late become more popular than scientific, 
but it once corresponded to thought (or to Hamilton s fifth 
faculty the Discursive, Elaborative or Comparative). The 
definition more tersely put is that logic deals with true 
understanding/ Logic deals with thought as true, while 
psychology deals with thought as it naturally proceeds within 
us. With the question whether thought has any validity, 
psychology has nothing whatever to do. 

What is Truth ? 

Now what is this truth of which logic seeks to give an 
account ? This is about the deepest of philosophical questions 
and cannot be thoroughly answered. But we do not need 
to go to the bottom of it in this connexion. The full question 
is thus to be stated : What is the relation between thought 
and being? Is there a reality apart from thought which 



i88 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

thinking represents ? And how does thinking represent it ? 
These questions, as we have seen, fall within the province 
of epistemology, which is really another face of ontology. 
When however we consider truth in logic we do not need 
to determine what ultimately is, and how that reality can be 
known ; we do not need a theory of knowledge or an 
ontology to start with. In logic we hold that to be true 
which is valid not only for my consciousness, but for all 
consciousnesses like mine. A thing is not true if it only 
holds good for me. Psychology deals only with the fact 
of intellection going on in my consciousness for me or in 
yours for you it does not touch upon truth as such at all. 
A thing may be psychologically explicable though not 
logically grounded. Intellection regulated with a view to 
truth is logically grounded knowledge. All men are mortal 
is logically grounded knowledge. When psychology has ex 
plained to me how I come to connect man and mortal. 
these notions are then further connected upon a basis of 
logical ground which holds for others beside myself. Hence 
we say Man is mortal is true ; it holds for all conscious 
nesses upon ground that can be assigned, i. e. evidence. 

Self-consistency; Conformity to Fact. 

Truth is, then, what holds intellectually for all minds alike. 
But we distinguish two kinds of truth, viz. truth to self and 
truth to fact. All men are mortal this holds for aU 
consciousnesses in the sense that our thought in the case is 
taken to represent fact. Any assertion that flows from this 
will also be truth of fact, e.g. No immortal is a man/ Now 
let us assume All men are cats/ Then if a man were to 
enter this room, we must expect to see him furry and on all 
fours. If you cannot accept this, you are untrue to your- 



XVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 189 

self; but if in this case you are true to yourself, you cannot 
be true to fact. We can have truth to self entirely apart 
from fact ; and again, we can have truth to fact which is not 
true to self. A really effective mind is both true to self and 
true to fact. 

Departments of Logic. 

Now Pure or Formal Logic is the doctrine that determines 
the conditions that regulate truth to self apart from fact, the 
doctrine, in other words, of mere consistency ; whereas 
Applied, Material or Modified Logic is a doctrine that lays 
down the conditions that regulate truth of fact. Hamilton s 
Logic, e. g. is chiefly Formal ; Mill s aims always at being 
Real or Material. Jevons jumbles up the two quite hope 
lessly. Consistency really covers both kinds of logic. The 
internal, intrinsic truth of thought is that it shall be consistent 
with itself. The external, extrinsic truth of thought is that it 
shall be consistent with fact ; that subject shall correspond to 
object. The business of most of us in life is mainly to be 
consistent with ourselves. For very few of us are destined 
to widen the bounds of knowledge; we come into the world 
the heirs of time/ and have enough to do with truly applying 
the knowledge we find. Herein logic tells us to do explicitly 
what we have hitherto done implicitly. 

Truth is a Question of Judgment. 

Now to answer our question why thought is the only part 
of intellection that can be logically regulated. Intellection 
includes perception, imagination, and thought. Why can 
we not logically regulate our perceiving and imagining? 
Strictly speaking, we cannot speak of true perception or true 
imagination, whereas thought can be true or false. Neither 
our perception as such, nor our imagination (which is only 



1 90 Elements of General Philosophy. 

perceiving over again) is grounded ; we do not find reasons 
in the case of either. It is only when knowledge is general 
that we can speak of it as true. Perceiving and thinking 
both proceed unreflectively and naturally, but thinking may 
also proceed reflectively ; we can watch it as it comes to 
pass, and regulate it; it can be modified and corrected as 
perceiving cannot. Perception involves to some extent 
thinking ; to the extent that there is explicit thinking per 
ception may be regulated. Scientific observation is perception 
involving explicit thinking; thought is brought to bear on 
the sense-experience we are having, and so far this admits 
of logical control and may be improved and corrected. 
The Frobel system helps children to perceive in a definite 
way more accurately and effectively. The help thus given 
to perception may be compared to the logical regulation 
of thought. But we cannot think logically before we can 
perceive, any more than we can be taught to dance before 
we have practically taught ourselves to walk. We come to 
think, and think, it may be, in a regulated fashion, upon 
a basis of perception. 



For LECTURE XIX consult : 

G. C. Robertson, Philosophical Remains, On the Action of so- 
called Motives; and Bain, Bk. IV, ch. xi. ED. 



LECTURE XIX. 

THE BASIS AND THE END OF ETHICS. 

Conation, Ethics, and Conduct. 

As I have already pointed out, the fact of logic, ethics, and 
aesthetics being all on the same level with respect to their all 
having distinct regulative work to do for the mind is really one 
of the strongest indirect proofs that we have of the existence 
of a third distinguishable phase of mind, namely, conation. 
And of these three doctrines ethics, at any rate, has at no time 
lacked full consideration. It has indeed tended to be identi 
fied with practical philosophy. In the end all practice ends 
and culminates in acting rightly. For conduct involves others, 
whereas thought and feeling directly concern the individual 

only. 

Ethics and Psychology. 

Ethics is related to psychology not as a cognate science, 
but in that it depends for its material upon the psychology 
of conation. English writers are always confusing ethics 
and psychology, e.g. Butler and Reid. Professor Sidgwick 
seemed, in the earlier editions of his Methods of Ethics, to 
be so anxious to separate ethics and psychology that he 
almost said the former had nothing to do with the latter, 
e.g. The investigation of the historical antecedents of moral 
cognition and of its relations to other states of mind has no 



192 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

more to do with ethics than the corresponding investigation 
of the nature of space has to do with geometry 1 a view 
he has since modified. It was a mistaken view, for the 
psychological solution has a bearing on the ethical. Ethics 
deals with that which has to be brought to pass as an end 
consciously conceived, and thus we see the subjective aspect, 
the relation to psychology, of ethics. The leading ethical 
topics, viz. the springs of action and the moral faculty or 
conscience, can only be understood in their relation to 
psychology. Again the question of the freedom of the will, 
which belongs to the metaphysics of ethics, is discussed 
largely on a psychological basis. 

The Question of the Freedom of the Will. 

It has been asserted that we must posit a power of action 
in the human mind wholly antecedent to and independent of 
all psychological experience whatever. This has naturally 
been connected with a metaphysical consideration of what 
mind is in itself. There has been much discussion as to 
whether the terms free will and necessity are good and 
appropriate words to be used in regard to will at all, the per 
tinency of the former term especially being declared against 
generally by those who deny the * freedom of the will in the 
sense in which others assert it. Let us put aside these words, 
in which the question has commonly been treated in English 
controversy, and give attention to other terms more in recent 
use Determinism and Indeterminism/ The latter is a 
strictly definable term and is synonymous with the doctrine of 

1 Methods of Ethics, ist edition, Preface. In the 3rd edition 
Professor Sidgwick has appended this note : This statement now 
appears to me to require a slight modification. Cf. also his art. 
Ethics, Encyc. Britannica. ED. 



xix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 193 

free will, while what has commonly been called the doctrine 
of philosophical necessity, or also Necessitarianism, is more 
scientifically expressed by the theory of Determinism. Both 
views, while opposed in themselves, are opposed to another 
view, the supporters of which have been confused by being 
classed with either side. These are theorists who do not 
consider the question from the point of view of psychology 
at all, but from that of man s position in the universe. And 
they assert, as related to and yet different from Determinism, 
that there is fatalism or perfect fatality in human actions, 
that everything in the world is as it cannot but be, that all 
is predetermined by external causes. This fatalistic theory 
may also . assume the theological form of predestination, viz. 
that the Creator has determined exactly what shall come 
about in the world in general and in each human mind. By 
opposition to fatalism or predestination we have the assertion 
that the foreknowledge of the Deity determines nothing 
absolutely or necessarily with regard to any particular event 
or action of men. The necessity of fatalism may be said 
to be a cosmical necessity. The necessity of predestination 
is cosmical too, but more determined, not falling back upon 
a mere abstraction like fate or cosmos, but connected 
expressly with a personal Being or Providence. On the 
other hand, there is the view asserting absolute freedom 
from cosmical necessity of any sort, and of course from pro 
vidential determination. Theologians like John Calvin, or, 
to a great extent, Augustin, were much more concerned 
with the question as between fatalism and predestination and 
the opposite than with the more scientific problem depending 
on the nature of Will. Their views we exclude from present 
discussion, the question for us lying between Determinism, 
or philosophical necessity, and Indeterminism. 

o 



194 Elements of General Philosophy. [LF.CT. 

The Ground of each Position. 

The Determinist declares that, as in nature generally so 
among human actions, the same circumstances being present 
the same effect will follow. Or, as it is often expressed, since 
motives are productive of actions, the same motives being 
present, the same action will always follow. The view of the 
Indeterminist is that motives never wholly, or need not ever 
wholly, determine human action ; that with the same motives 
present at different times different actions may follow ; that in 
motives we do not get the full expression of the conditions of 
human action ; that beyond all motives there is the activity 
of the ego itself; that there is a source of internal force, 
a self-initiating power in the human mind itself, a power of 
self-determination of the ego apart from the circumstances 
in which the ego is placed, which may determine action 
in the teeth of any quantity of motive. Hence it is called 
Indeterminism, meaning that action is not, or need not ever 
be, wholly determined by motives. 

Now it is easy to see what sort of grounds the different 
theories rely upon. 

The Determinists say that it is a fact that human actions 
proceed uniformly, and they point to statistics in proof of this. 
All human actions, they declare, are determined wholly by 
motives ; unless we knew that people would act, under parti 
cular circumstances, in definite ways we could never get 
on at all. Unless there is this uniformity in human action 
as in everything else, between volition and its antecedent, 
it is impossible to have a science of the human mind 
at all. I think this is the strongest thing the Determinist 
can urge. 

What the Indeterminists dwell on chiefly is the consciousness 



xix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 195 

of freedom that we have in volition; we are conscious of a power 
of acting against any motives. Not that we do so always or 
often, but let the motives be never so strong or so weak, by 
a pure act of will, as it is sometimes called, it is possible for 
the man or ego to act for himself and of himself. So much 
do they rely on this that one of them, Hamilton, declared 
that, however much, on the ground of psychology, he was 
bound to allow that any action ever put forth can be said 
to follow from particular motives (of course widely extend 
ing the notion of motive to cover cases of action through 
so-called sheer caprice), we must yet in the last resort rely 
upon this simple and fundamental deliverance of conscious 
ness, viz. that we are free agents, that our actions proceed, or 
may proceed, from a source within us wholly undetermined. 

Choice as determined by the prevailing Motive. 

It is easy to see how a Determinist would answer this. 1 
might have a strong inducement to go out of that door and 
yet say No, I will stay and stay. Now here, he would point 
out, I should only have yielded to a motive of a different kind, 
which motive may be sheer caprice, or obstinacy, or laziness, or 
the desire to show you that one need not act from particular 
motives, and so forth, and which is just in this case the more 
powerful motive, or motives. All this Hamilton allowed with 
full force, and was angry with Reid, who did not see what 
Determinists aim at in declaring that every action can be ex 
pressed in terms of motives of some sort or other. Yet he 
would not therefore give up free will in the strict sense, and 
indeed points to this case of apparent contradiction between 
necessity to act under motives and consciousness of perfect 
freedom as a clear case of contradiction within consciousness, 
and as illustrating his Law of the Conditioned. 

o 2 



196 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

The Argument in terms of Motives is a Logomachy. 
Now just one word about the controversy before I pass on 
and close. I cannot help thinking that here, as elsewhere, 
the difference between the two views is greatly affected by the 
language in which the discussion has taken place. I am not 
arguing in the sense in which Professor Bain argues, not ineffec 
tively, against the language that has been employed in this 
question. He objects to the use of free and necessary as 
applied to will, and there is much force in his remarks. But 
I want to make a deeper charge against language than that, 
and especially against all this talk of motives with regard to 
the question of choice of action. Such language is not scientific 
but merely metaphorical, and prejudices the issue. Both sides 
are to blame herein. And I think that, if the question had 
to be decided in terms of motives, the Determinists get into 
a very bad position. Motive implies an ego or subject who 
is moved. If this terminology is used and regarded as an 
ultimately satisfactory way of stating the case, then we must 
fall back with the Indeterminists on the assumption of an 
undetermined ego, in which case motives no longer amount 
to a sufficient explanation of actions. On the other hand, and 
granting still the language of motives, I must with the Deter 
minists, as well as with Hamilton, assert that the determining 
causes or antecedents of every act can well be expressed in 
terms of motive. And I certainly think that those cases 
where we talk about the self-initiation of movements and 
their proceeding from the ego and so forth are as much 
acts determined by motives as any of the simplest are. 

Motive is a mere popular Metaphor. 

How then shall we get out of this difficulty? We have proved 
the Determinist theory and also the Indeterminist theory 



xix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 197 

under this language of motives. We must lay the difficulty 
on the language. If motives were something external to the 
mind, as from the language used one might well conclude, 
then indeed we must take account of a mind or ego. But 
what sort of thing is a motive affecting the mind and yet 
external to it ? What is motive after all ? It may be a feeling. 
It may be an idea. It may be a resolution or vow, or a 
great many other mental states. Motive is only a popular 
or loose way of stating certain mental states involving action. 
Well then, if motives are after all mental states, and not 
something external to the mind, as is commonly implied, 
then the question becomes altered at once. We cannot 
say that a state of mind is anything apart from mind. 
It is mind in that state. When I say, I have a conflict 
of motives, it means that I have now one tendency to act 
and now another. And when I say, I hold to a particular 
motive, the truer expression for this is that, amid a variety of 
conscious conditions succeeding one another, one becomes 
prominent or predominant and has a particular action follow 
ing upon it. 

The Determinist view I am constrained to accept; its 
ground of universal uniformity is sounder. But just as the 
Sensationalists used to express experience in terms of sense in 
such a way as to render any explanation of knowledge from 
sense impossible, so does Determinism by the terms of its 
statement render itself inadmissible and make a surrender 
to the opposite side. 

Altruistic Considerations. 

In ethical problems, then, we are on a basis of psychology, 
but not psychologising. If, e.g. we consider appetites and 
desires, it is not to make out anything by way of psychological 



198 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

explanation about them, but to account for what they are with 
regard for self and for others. Ethical questions are wholly 
concerned with the consideration of self and others, with 
relations between man and man with liberty to develop the 
subject in either direction, viz. of the relations between man 
and higher minds (religion), and between man and lower 
minds, of relations, i.e. either humanistic or to the universe. 
For springs of action it were better, in ethics, to substitute 
springs of conduct, conduct being the actions of an in 
dividual considered in relation to anything which involves 
himself and others as related to himself. 

The Ethical Standard. 

The properly ethical question is that of the standard of right 
and wrong. A man s view of this is enough of itself to deter 
mine his whole ethical theory ; and there is no other question 
that is sufficient in itself for this. Men may agree as to the 
nature of the moral faculty, and yet admit different views as 
to the standard or criterion of right and wrong. Whereas 
a view of the standard will carry a man right through. It is 
to ethics what truth of thought is to logic. 

Ethics and Politics. 

In modern times ethics has acquired a great independence 
of politics, and has come more and more to rise supreme 
above the latter. Plato and Aristotle made out ethics to be 
a department of politics. This was because the Greeks, in a 
highly developed political system within a small territory, were 
politicians first and moralists afterwards. Only a few saw 
that there was room for a further consideration of man s action 
as man and not as citizen. When Greek political life became 
extinct the ethical question in turn came uppermost, e. g. in 



xix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 199 

Stoicism and Epicureanism, in which ethics began to be 
differentiated as a theory of individual action. At a time 
when the traditional religious conceptions had lost their hold 
on cultivated minds, it became of primary importance that 
some Theory of Life and Conduct should be developed as 
a substitute for a religious creed. With the progress of time 
a more highly analytical study of human nature has arisen, 
hence we distinguish more sharply between ethical and 
political principles. 

Ethics and Christianity. 

Again, the influence of Christianity on ethics is extremely 
marked. Christianity inculcated the notion of the individual 
life or soul as having infinite value. The man, in and for 
himself, once swamped in the citizen, has become the fact of 
greatest moment. What a man is and what a man ought to do 
are questions that have become prominent in the Christian 
era as they never did in Greek or Roman civilisation. 

Ethics and Theology. Cogency of the Social Factor. 
In so far as ethics has helped to develop ethical principles, 
it has done so inevitably in relation to certain theological 
considerations. Yet this does not make ethics necessarily 
dependent upon theology. One ought to be able to determine 
the rule of life merely from a consideration of human nature. 
Morality proper depends upon the exclusion of theology. To 
seek a constraining power in order to good conduct impeaches 
the very notion of morality and trangresses the province of 
ethics. Morality can only give intelligible reasons. Con 
science, the impulse to do right from a purely ethical point 
of view, arises from the fact that man is no mere individual 
but a member of the social organism. What a man becomes, 
he becomes not of himself but through others. Therefore, 



200 Elements of General Philosophy. 

while it is natural that he should act out of regard to self 
//^reflectively, when his actions begin to be done reflectively, 
it is impossible for him not to allow that he is bound to 
sacrifice himself in all cases where there is a conflict between 
self-interests and the common good. There is a law upon 
him not to be thrown off. Not to allow this is for a man 
to claim to have created, by and for himself, life and know 
ledge and all that makes life worth having. 



PART II. 

SPECIAL LECTURES. 
LECTURE XX. 

ON THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF PLATO IN THE 
PH^EDO, REPUBLIC, THE&TETUS AND TIM^US^. 

READING Plato s Dialogues, Jowett s Translation; Plato s Timceus, 
edited by Archer-Hind. 

THE stages in Plato s life are well marked. The date 
of his birth being B.C. 427, we note (a) the Socratic stage 
(407-399) his Lehrjahre as they have been called when he 
was the pupil of Socrates till the latter was put to death. 
(1)} Twelve years of travel (399-387) his Wanderjahre when 
he visited Magna Grsecia (S. Italy), Sicily, Egypt, with 
occasional returns to Athens, when he began his relations 
with Dionysius of Syracuse, and which include his first 
period of productive activity (i. e. of the Socratic dialogues). 
(c) The stage of supreme effective thinking and teaching, 
as a philosopher, with his school in the grove of Academus 
(387-367). (d) To Syracuse again, visiting the younger 

1 From a special course on the Thecvteius,&.c. } February, March, 1892. 



202 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Dionysius (367-365). In 361 he visited Syracuse yet again. 
(e) Third period of philosophising and teaching, during 
which he gave the last development to his theory of ideas, 
and his cosmology. The chief productions of this period 
were the Laws, probably the Philebus, the Parmenides, and 
the Sophistes, leading up to the Timceus. 

We have already seen (supra, Lecture IV) what was the 
heritage of thought to be entered into by Plato : first, the 
physical philosophy of the Pre-Socratics ; then in Protagoras 
a despair of physical and also of moral science, withal 
a highly refined argumentation as to practical life ; next the 
teaching of Socrates, also despairing of physical science, 
but aiming at a science of moral conceptions and identifying 
virtue with knowledge, or with the outcome of knowledge. 
Into the mind of his predecessors and contemporaries Plato 
entered generally, combining the high moral purpose of 
Socrates, and, at first, the Socratic method with a wider and 
bolder sweep of constructive thinking. He asked, in its 
widest generality, as the great question for a philosopher, 
What is knowlege? Though ethical purpose is always 
present as his final aim, yet the problem of conduct was to 
be solved by him through previous consideration of the 
universal problem of knowledge, and not of knowledge in 
a limited sphere as with Socrates. 

The Thecetetus is a dialogue of research without the 
positive results characterising the Republic. Many points 
are raised, but not settled. The subject is of the greatest 
difficulty, and one on which Plato s writings show a con 
tinuous development. It is occupied with epistemology 
with knowledge as such here treated more independently 
than elsewhere of his dogmatic theory of Ideas. It sums 
up and destructively criticises all previous views on the 



xx.] Elements of General Philosophy. 203 

problem of knowledge, making reference, explicit or im 
plicit, to Plato s predecessors. His own theory it leaves 
indeterminate. Had he thought out a reasoned solution, his 
positive philosophy would have been complete. Some 
suppose the dialogue was written before 367, but revised in 
the third period, because of the view that philosophers 
should stand aloof from practical life. This, it is said, will 
have been in connexion with his unfortunate experiences 
during his later visits to Syracuse and his own isolation from 
practical life. On the other hand, the Laws, his latest work, 
shows the philosopher in close relation with practical life. 

The Republic is Plato s greatest achievement in its com 
bination of range of thinking with literary effect. Close 
inspection, however, shows signs of aggregation at different 
times. Books I and II on Justice are quite Socratic, and 
may well have been written in his first period of pro 
duction. After Book I, which leads to no positive result, 
we have two great divisions : (i) a complete political theory 
(II-IV and most of V; Books VIII and IX are also 
political) ; (ii) in relation to (i), a theory of knowledge (V-VIII 
and X). In this second division the Republic should be 
taken in conjunction with the Theczlelus ; it takes a positive 
dogmatic attitude with regard to those points which the 
latter treats in form of search. It is probable that this 
(excerpting Book X) is the only part of the Republic written 
in the third period, showing Plato s theory as it does, in the 
more developed stage. 

The German line of thought tends to regard Plato as 
a connected and consistent thinker. Grote, on the other 
hand, finds him inconsistent with himself at different stages 
of his philosophy. It is for us to distinguish him in his nega 
tive attitude (Theatetus] and his positive attitude (Republic). 



204 Rlcnicnts of General Philosophy* [u 



It is in the philosophical part of the Republic that the latter, 
viz. his dogmatic Idealism, is most fixed and characteristic, 
though not yet in its final form. It undergoes further 
development in the Partnenidts, Sophtstes, Philebus, and 
7/>//f/7/.v, certain parts of the Republic theory being dropped, 
others exclusively developed and emphasised, though nothing 
is added. 

Now the Thactetus is obviously preparatory to a possible 
solution of the question of the problem of knowledge 
universally put, first in Phicdo and Republic, later in Par- 
menides, Sophistcs, Philcbiis, and Thmnis^ which four embody 
the earlier solution in a modified form. It sweeps away 
previous insufficient solutions as a preparation for one that 
shall be complete, while itself containing no direct statement 
of his ideas. Is then the Thetctetus preparatory to the Republic 
and Ptucdo (ante B.C. 367), or to the remaining four 
(post 360)? 

We must distinguish, in the dialogue, the essential from 
the unessential. It has two episodes, very striking but not 
related to the general argument, viz. an artistic description 
of the Socratic method, and a comparison of the man of 
the world with the philosopher. The brilliancy of these 
episodes makes many call the dialogue an early work, the 
later dialogues not containing writings of this kind, but this 
does not prove much. 1 lowever that may be, apart from these 
episodes we get a consideration of three answers to the 
question What is knowledge (eWrr^r/) ? current in Plato s 
day : (i) Knowledge is sense-perception; (2) Knowledge 
is true opinion ; (3) Knowledge is true opinion, ^ra Xoyou, i.e. 
with a rational explanation or definition. All these views 
had unquestionably found expression before Plato wrote, 
though, except the first, not before Socrates lived. Plato 



xx.] Elements of General Philosophy. 205 

found them all insufficient. He first assigns (i) to Pro 
tagoras, then connects it with the Hcracleitean doctrine of 
perpetual flux. All the physicists, so far as they touched 
on the problem of knowledge at all, gave the first answer. 
It is doubtful whether it really coincided with all that 
Protagoras meant when he put forward his doctrine of 
homo mensura; it remains the obvious answer of practical 
every-day men. 

Note in passing the remarkable affinity of Protagoras 
and I fume. Both were Individualists and Relativists ; and 
Protagoras anticipated many of Hume s sceptical results. 
His treatise on Truth, from which Pluto quotes, was pro 
bably not a developed consideration of the subject, or we 
should have more of it in the J hca ldus. Plato himself 
developed the view of Protagoras, imputing to him a more 
thorough -going notion of the relativity of sense than even 
the latter held, and thus makes way for his own position. 
By exaggerating the relativity of sense he throws us back 
on something opposed to sense ; whereas modern philosophy 
has shown that, even though sense as such is not knowledge, 
there is no real knowledge apart from sense. 

The third view of knowledge belongs in a sense to 
Socrates and Plato themselves, peril Ao>u referring either 
to the Socratic definition by enumeration of elements, or to 
the earlier Platonic definition by characteristic difference. 
The second view joins closely to the first and belongs to no 
particular thinker. In explaining it Plato shows pyscho- 
logically that opinion is sense intelligently interpreted, i.e. 
is perception involving representation. (This he illustrates 
by the metaphors of wax and the pigeons.) Here, while- 
he makes light of the view as answering his cpistemo- 
logical question, he shows great psychological insight, his 



206 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

explanation of perception being worthy of ranking beside 
Hume s account of imagination. 

The argument that knowledge is sensation, is disposed 
of by Plato through the fact that knowledge is the activity of 
the soul itself. If we see, it is through the soul s instrument. 
The cognition of the soul, i.e. its powers of comparison, are 
not attainable through sense. Sense is not even an element 
of knowledge. 

This last assertion is Plato s characteristic exaggeration, 
and leads up to his theory that knowledge consists in merely 
thinking of our ideas. How this position was taken up and 
modified by modern Rationalist thought, how Locke and his 
school vindicated sense, how for Condillac knowledge was 
sense transformed, how Kant developed Leibniz s conception 
of knowledge as arising from intellectual predispositions 
into forms, while requiring sense to furnish matter/ we 
have already seen. After all Plato may be said to have 
adumbrated modern views, for he practically committed 
himself to the doctrine that knowledge is an affair of mental 
activity, the furnishing forth of certain ideas (icoivd) on 
occasion, and by comparison, of sensations. 

Into his discussion of Knowledge is true opinion, Plato 
again insinuates much acute psychology, especially as to 
the imagination that is present in perception (true opinion), 
and distinguishes the latter from illusion (false opinion). 
Opinion, for him, is intellectual representation of sense. 
Note the grounds on which, namely, in the example of the 
lawyer, he bases his rejection of this definition of knowledge : 
the argument is another preparation for his theory of 
ideas. True opinion rests on intelligent perception of sense . 
(answer 2 being resolved into answer i), and therefore, being 
concerned with sense, is not knowledge. On his distinction 



xx.] Elements of General Philosophy. 207 

between opinion (fida) and thinking (didvoia) he bases his 
whole theory of ideas. 

The third view breaks down because Xo -yoy, in any of 
its three senses, viz. description, induction of particulars, 
division (bringing species under genus), is shown to be 
involved in the meaning of opinion is a working with 
sense, i. e. with particular experience relative to the individual 
and is therefore no adequate expression of knowledge. 
Hence answer (3) is resolved into answers (i) and (2). The 
dialogue ends abruptly. 

Plato s theory of knowledge in the Republic is set forth 
in connexion with the education of the Guardian or philo 
sopher. Thus this epistemology is linked with his doctrine 
of the state and the notion of virtue. Here (end of Book V) 
he recognises knowledge and opinion as opposed. But 
afterwards we find him opposing knowledge (having being 
for its object) to ignorance (as related to the non-existent), 
opinion coming midway (having as its object multiplex 
experience). Later on, however (end of Book VI), igno 
rance is dropped from consideration. None of the diffi 
culties discussed in the Thecetetus occur here ; they have either 
vanished or not yet arisen, according to the date of the 
latter. Plato dwells rather on multiplicity than on becoming, 
distinguishing the Idea from its manifold manifestations. His 
great positive doctrine grew up in him in relation to the view 
of Socrates, that knowledge is of the universal. Socrates 
cared only for general ethical conceptions ; and he sought 
to get at our concepts or universal notions, for purposes of 
regulation, by means of analysis or definition. Plato applied 
the Socratic analysis (explication, definition) of the ethical 
notion to metaphysic. The object of knowledge, he 
maintained, is more real than the object of opinion or of 



2o8 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

sense. The idea is what really is, though the object of 
opinion is related to the idea. Nevertheless the ethical 
conception is uppermost with Plato also. The idea of the 
Good is the highest with which knowledge is conversant, 
and is its ultimate end. 

In the sixth book Plato works out the philosopher s 
position in the world and the state. We may in this con 
nexion compare the first two-thirds of the book with the 
episode of the philosopher and the man of the world in the 
Thecetetus. The strain is the same, although in the Republic 
there is the additional and apparently inconsistent conception 
that the philosopher, even if unpractical, ought to be ruler. 
After this episode Plato again reverts to epistemology in a 
passage of great importance. Note how he dwells on the 
idea of the Good as the highest with which knowledge is con 
versant, how it is related to other ideas, and finally the illus 
tration of the sun. Good is the ultimate end of knowledge, 
the true aim of all real philosophy. 

In the last pages of this book he advances beyond his 
position, at the end of Book V, as to knowledge and opinion 
(illustrated by the section of a line), in distinguishing between 
the work of reason (vovs) and that of understanding (Stai/oia), 
and between opinion as belief (TTLO-TLS) and as conjecture 
(eifcao-i a), both belief and conjecture being concerned with 
particulars, that is, with sense-experience. In both reason 
and understanding we are occupied with ideas, with the 
abstract, with knowledge, but in understanding we bring in 
certain sensible manifestations, namely, in mathematics, the 
highest of the special sciences, while in purely rational know 
ledge we are occupied with pure ideas (dialectic). Thus the 
doctrine given in Book V is here expanded and developed. 
But distinguish carefully the method of dialectic and the method 



xx.] Elements of General Philosophy. 209 

of dianoetic (special science). Plato is very modern here, and 
it was he who originated the distinction between reason and 
understanding. He practically marked out the whole sphere of 
philosophy. In the seventh book he gives a most remarkable 
classification of the sciences, which holds against some of the 
present day *. 

Dialectic is rational conversance with ideas, is in fact philo 
sophy. As method Plato opposes it to that of the sciences, 
taking mathematics as representing the latter. Mathematics, 
he said, starts from hypotheses, working deductively by 
synthetic combination, without going back to question the 
fundamental data (axioms and definitions) whence it starts, 
whereas the philosopher is concerned to inquire into these. 
Philosophy is conversant with ideas as such; science, with 
ideas as they may be sensibly represented. 

Mathematics is often spoken of as the only differentiated 
science in ancient time ; in Plato, however, a multiplicity 
of sciences is mentioned. And note the order of study in 
the sciences prescribed, after music and gymnastics, under the 
system of training for a philosopher. The philosopher is to 
be trained in the abstract consideration of sensible things, as 
suggestive of reality beyond sense. Scientific considerations 
should lead up to philosophy. Under the former the most 
prominent is the numerical aspect of things. It was not till 
Post-Platonic thought that arithmetic was subordinated to 
geometry. Euclid, for example, gives his arithmetical theory 
of proportions (Books VI-IX) after treating (in Books I-IV) 
of notions of space. But arithmetic is more general, and 
Comte followed Plato in giving it priority as an abstract 
science of wider application than geometry. Plato, again, 

1 The simile of the cave in Book VII is an application of the end 
of Book VI. 



210 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

saw that before we pass from the formal to the actual con 
sideration of things we must deal with solid geometry and 
astronomy. Comte followed him here also, including physics. 
Plato s statements show that physics was studied in his time, 
but it was not till Galileo that its position was rightly 
recognised. 

In Book X of the Republic we have a statement of Plato s 
theory of ideas (see ante, Lecture VIII). The meaning 
attached by him to idea is not the more modern one of merely 
something before the mind/ but that of something objectively 
real a meaning that comes out in the equivalent term form/ 
Corresponding to any concept, which we form psychologically 
by bringing together a multitude of particular experiences, 
there is in the region of existence, of reality, a Form or Idea. 
We get, for example, a concept of bad by comparison of 
particular bad things, but there is a real Bad to which our 
concept is related. Six different kinds of Ideas are put 
forward in the Republic : (i) The supreme Idea, that of the 
Good. Plato sought to establish a hierarchy of ideas, headed 
by this one, but when he tries to fix the relation of the Good 
to other ideas, he betrays uncertainty and incompleteness. 
(2) Ideas of qualities akin to the Good, e.g. the just, the 
honourable, &c. (3) Ideas of natural objects man, horse, &c. 
(4) Ideas of artificial things, e. g. bed. (5) Ideas of relations, 
such as equal, like, &c. (6) Ideas of qualities antagonistic 
to the Good, e . g. unjust. 

Such is the only way in which he could account for know 
ledge. In the Phcedo, where the epistemological position is 
parallel to that in the Republic, he entered more closely into 
the relation of the particular to the universal, of the particular 
thing of sense to the pure form or idea. Things of sense 
have a reality, he found, only to the extent that they have 



xx.] Elements of General Philosophy. 211 

participation in (pcticgts), or presence of (rrapovo-ia), the idea, 
or communion (fcou/aWa) of the idea with the thing. And 
because there are ultimate realities in which sensible things 
participate, therefore knowledge is possible. From sense we 
may mount up to the real, using especially mathematics as 
an aid. 

Aristotle, in his theorising concerning knowledge, which 
occurs especially in the Metaphysica, criticises Plato s episte- 
mology and sets up a counter-theory. Reality appeared to 
him an ambiguous term, but lay rather in the concrete parti 
cular thing than in the universal or Platonic Idea, yet for him 
too, although he allowed that the particular does really exist, 
knowledge is of the universal only. Again, therefore, there 
arises the question of the relation between universal and 
particular, which he settled by his theory of essence. 

Now Aristotle s criticisms referred to a later development of 
Plato s theory than that given in the Republic, for according to 
Aristotle the Ideas were of natural things, but not of artificial 
things or relations. Already in this dialogue and the Phcedo, 
Plato expresses dissatisfaction with his theory, and proceeds 
in the Parmenides, as well as in the Sophistes, Philebus, and 
TimcBus, to criticise it, his criticism in the first-named being 
more shrewd and trenchant than Aristotle s. We find him, for 
instance, anticipating the latter s objection of the third man/ 
But his treatment here is negative only ; the self-criticism is 
not final, as Grote suggested ; yet he maintains that knowledge 
is impossible without a theory of ideas as real existences. It 
is in the Timceus that we find the ultimate expression of his 
doctrine, propounded with more confidence and definiteness, 
although in mythological form, than in any other dialogue, and 
in a way intended to evade the objections raised in the 
Parmenides. Here all Ideas are discarded save those of the 

P 2 



212 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Good and of Natural Kinds, and it is a question whether 
from these he does not exclude all that are not living things 
(including plants). Again in opposing things that are to 
things that are merely becoming, i. e. things of sense, he no 
longer looks askance at the latter as in the Republic, but 
attempts to show how, by positing the Ideas of the Good and 
of Natural Kinds, we can account for things as we find them 
for the coming into existence of the natural world. He gives 
us in fact a cosmogony. He is eager no longer to get from 
the things of sense to reality, but from the region of reality to 
come down to an explanation of our actual experience. The 
crude position taken up in the Republic has been transformed 
into an absolute Idealism. The only thing that really is, 
is mind Mind the Universal, and finite minds in relation to, 
being the outcome of, the Universal Mind. Experience is the 
mode in which particular minds can take in the ultimate 
reality that is concentrated in the Universal Mind. Thus the 
form of doctrine in the Timceus is more mystical, more removed 
from actual experience, and yet it is given to account for this 
experience, and not as in the Republic ty shun all explanation. 
The Idea is no longer a reality apart ; ultimate reality is now 
for him certain types of things in the universal mind, and 
particular ihings are related to these types, not as participating 
in them that theory has dropped out but as images or like 
nesses of a pattern, model or archetype (napd^Lypa). They 
are the way in which the finite mind of man represents to itself 
the thought of the universal or divine mind. Only Hegel 
reached a more extreme form of Idealism than this. 

We see then that between the earlier position of the Republic 
and the later one of the Ttmaus, the Theceietus is important 
as indicating transition. The Parmenides is destructive ; the 
Theatetus points the way to reconstruction. With the final 



xx.] Elements of General Philosophy. 213 

view given in the TimcEus Plato never shows dissatisfaction. \ 
His position is constant to this extent, that knowledge for 
him from first to last is conversance of mind with ideas as such, 
is an affair of the soul s activity : we know by something fur 
nished forth by the mind. The theory of knowledge being 
attained by way of reminiscence derived from previous exist 
ence as held in the Phcedo, makes way for what is the relatively 
sane doctrine of the Timceus. 

Now the ThecEtdus is preparatory to a theory of ideas. The 
question is, which theory ? The earlier or the later ? Its form 
connects the dialogue with the Republic, but close inspection 
reveals declarations inconsistent with this, viz. Mind knows 
common notions (KOIVO) by comparison of particulars, and 
knows them only through this process. Whereas in the Republic 
we find relations (of likeness, &c.) existing already as ideas 
side by side with ideas of things. In the Thecetetus Socrates 
tests his own size by comparing himself with different people. 
In the PhcEdo Socrates is said to discover his own relative size 
through participating in the Ideas of smallness and largeness. 
In such ways the Thecetetus may be shown as inconsistent 
with the Republic and Phcedo, but not with the TimcEus. 

Hence it is probable that the first draft of the Theatetus was 
a negative preparation for the Republic, written about the same 
time, but recast later when Plato had otherwise or more fully 
developed his theory of ideas. The suggestions in it that are 
assignable to Plato himself are developed not in the Republic 
but in later dialogues. Plato could not have committed him 
self to certain positions in the Republic after those he assumed 
in the The&tetus. Moreover the Sophist carries on the argu 
ment of the latter, and is again connected with the Politicus, 
the three forming a trilogy. Thus the stage of thought in the 
Thecetetus is later than that in the Republic. 



LECTURE XXI. 



READING. Aristotle s Psychology, Greek and English, with Introduc 
tion and Notes by Edwin Wallace, 1882. Aristotle, by George 
Grote, edited by Alexander Bain and G. C. Robertson, 1883, 
ch. xii. Mental Science, by Alexander Bain, 1884, Appendix B, 
pp. 33-42, (written by Grote). Reid s Works, edited by Hamilton. 
Note D, pp. 826-30. Also Ueberweg s, Erdmann s or Schwegler s 
(latest German edition) histories of philosophy on Aristotle. 

ARISTOTLE, truly named the master of those who know/ 
the most encyclopaedic of thinkers, was a great pathfinder 
in both science and philosophy. He is the creator of Logic, 
and he knew it (v. Grote, pp. 419-20); he also laid the 
foundations of scientific psychology. The condition of the 
advancement of a science is that it shall be broken off from 
its surroundings and worked at separately. The first to be 
separated, Mathematics, is also the most highly perfected. 
Psychology till the last generation had not been broken off; 
to the circumstance that it has now been singled out for 

4 separate treatment it owes its advance within recent years. 

C Aristotle had an overpowering sense of the relation of 
psychology to philosophy, yet to a great extent he separates 
psychology in a manner that is very modern ; unfortunately 
his successors did not do so. There is hardly a suggestion 

1 From a special course on the De Anima, Oct.-Dec., 1890. 



Elements of General Philosophy. 215 

made by modern psychologists as to the lines on which 
psychology might have advanced that was not anticipated 
by Aristotle. Psychology is a science apart, of a special 
character, self-contained. It is science in respect of method, 
philosophy in respect of scope. Philosophy depends on 
psychological insight, but psychology itself is concerned with 
mind as it appears, and does not deal with the question of 
the ultimate nature of the soul. Aristotle however includes 
this question in his psychology, treating the science both as 
empirical and as rational (i. e. metaphysically). 

He commences his analysis in the De Anima with a 
metaphysical definition of soul/ his psychological notions 
being overridden by his desire to fit soul into that First 
Philosophy/ as he called it, which for him was not the crown 
but the basis of his system of knowledge. It is possibly 
a pity that he committed himself at the start, instead of 
building up his metaphysic inductively, for his metaphysic is 
the most developed part of his work. Herein successive 
philosophers have been no wiser than he, with the exception 
of the school of modern psychology, the impetus of which 
was given by England and Scotland, but which, no longer as at 
one time a national study, is now chiefly, though by no means 
exclusively, carried on by Germans. Scholars of other nations 
have broken up that national characteristic just because, and 
in as far as, they have put aside metaphysical presuppositions. 
On the other hand, all in this country who have come under 
the Kantian influence have inverted the order of English 
thought. Even Mr. Spencer, our most scientific philosopher, 
has broken away from English tradition, and begins his 
system with an attempted solution of the riddle of the universe. 
Whereas psychology that is scientific in method, from the 
outset takes mental facts as they are found, and treats them 



216 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

as far as possible apart from a metaphysical basis. Agree 
ment is so much more likely in psychology though desirable 
enough in philosophy that it is best to carry on psychological 
research, and be patient in philosophical conclusions. For 
example, how does Aristotle s definition of soul help us in 
his psychology, however intelligible that definition by his 
first philosophy may be ? It had been better had he limited 
his psychological inquiry to the manifestations of mind or 
soul in all living things. 

As to the method of psychology, he asks, (i) Can we get 
at the truths of psychology as with mathematics by demon 
stration (dnodfigts) or the synthetic method? Or (2) can we 
by analysis (Sialpfa-is, to be taken in its evident meaning and 
not, as Wallace says, as the Platonic division), i.e. take 
consciousness as it is and break it up ? Or (3) may the two 
be combined? His answer to (i) is, No; psychology is not 
*a pure deductive science, and cannot therefore be so treated. 
But if we cannot start with what a thing is and work down 
to the properties of it, we can start from the properties and 
go up from them to the complete conception *. 

Consider now Aristotle s account of the traditions of 
thought he had inherited. Greek philosophy before Aristotle 
culminates in Plato and Democritus. By these two philo 
sophers Aristotle thinks ; to both he is related : to Democritus, 
whose chief theory is the moving power of soul, and to 

1 I do not approve in this connexion (Bk. I, ch. i. n) of Wallace s 
translating Sia\fKTiKos by transcendentalist. A dialectician is a logician 
chiefly on the side on which the latter deals with words. He also 
deals with probabilities ; he is a bare speculator as opposed to one 
dealing with facts ; he is occupied with playing with words as opposed 
to real science. He works deductively apart from facts. A (pvai/tos 
on the other hand is one who buries himself in facts and works 
inductively. Aristotle s business is with facts. 



XXL] Elements of General Philosophy. 217 

Plato, whose chief stress is laid on soul as thinking. Plato 
also supports the theory of the moving power of soul. And 
though they are mutually antithetical, both together form an 
antithesis to Aristotle. He puts forward Democritus as the 
typical upholder of the theory of soul as moving, and Plato 
as the emphasiser of soul as cognitive (as well as of soul as 
moving). Thus, from Aristotle s opposition to both these 
theories, the antithesis between the Idealism or Spiritualism 
of the one and the Materialism or Atomism of the other does 
not appear in his works. Aristotle allowed that all movement - 
in the organism has a mental basis, yet this power of motion 
is not, he considered, the chief characteristic of soul. Nor, 
again, does he deny that mind (or soul) is cognitive, but he 
rejected the then prevalent doctrine of how mind moves and 
knows. The prevalent doctrine of cognition, followed by 
Democritus and Plato, and set forth by Empedocles (of 
Agrigentum, fl. B.C. 444), lay in the supposed likeness or 
homogeneity between the elements of mind and those of 
which external things consist, in virtue of which, on occasion 
of contact between effluent mental elements and effluent 
external things, perception could and did come to pass. In 
his opposition to these three thinkers Aristotle seems to have 
been working towards the modern distinction between subjec 
tive and objective. Subjectivity as the characteristic of mind 
is not stated by him, yet he implies it. The characteristic 
of mind lay for him neither in power to move body, nor in 
cognition, nor in knowing like through being like. Refusing 
to consider mind as body, or yet apart from body, he op 
posed to the physical side what was in reality the subjective 
side, although he termed it form (cldos) or entelechy, as 
that which, in forming body, gives reality or actuality to it 
(I, ii-II, i). 



218 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

There was at first in the history of Greek philosophy no 
thought of opposing mind to matter; that idea was of very 
gradual development; in Pythagoras we get more away 
from object; in the nous of Anaxagoras we get the first 
suggestion of subject. And note how Socrates, the con 
temporary of Anaxagoras, gets on to concepts and away from 
the external, though without any distinct theory. Here then 
it is that Greek philosophy properly so called at least as 
I understand philosophy may be said to begin. In his 
pre-philosophic thinking however, proceeding as this does 
by way of Animism, man does not refuse to consider mind, 
nor does he wait to make the distinction between mind and 
body, which again emerges when he has begun to philosophise. 
And this distinction he makes not only in himself but in 
everything. Not only has he a soul, but so also have all, even 
inanimate, things stones, rivers, &c. What for him is soul ? 
Another kind of body, ethereal, attenuated, but still a body 
within the body. The idea will first have sprung from 
the thought of dream-life, when the body is stationary, but 
the spirit goes abroad, hunts, fights, &c., in the man s own 
shape. The ghost-story is a survival of this. 

Now how far are there traces of this in early Greek 
philosophy ? We find all Aristotle s criticism of Democritus 
(in the De Ammo) directed against a kind of semi-scientific 
animism. And we may suppose that Thales and his 
successors, by occupying themselves with the object-world 
alone, and dropping all reference to the soul, emerged from 
the prevailing animism, till in this respect and to this extent 
Democritus, with his atomistic theory, set forth what was an 
unconsciously transformed animism. Plato, again, Im- 
materialist as he was, making the soul s immateriality a 
ground for its immortality, has remnants of primitive animism 



XXL] Elements of General Philosophy. 219 

"in him. He speaks, metaphorically if not literally, of the 
soul being extended in the body, and so he too incurs 
Aristotle s criticism. Both Aristotle, however, and in modern 
times Grote, have taken Plato too literally to do justice to his 
poetical mode of exposition. But wherever Plato stands 
as to animism, Aristotle at least is absolutely free from it, as 
is shown by his attacks on Plato and Democritus. Modern 
science in speaking of mind as subjective is non-animistic, 
but not more so than Aristotle was. 

Not that animism died through Aristotle ! It reappears in 
Epicurus, and in the early Christian Fathers in Tertullian, 
e.g., who even ridiculed the non-animistic position and 
in Jewish thought both before and in the Christian era. In 
proportion as mediaeval thinkers follow Aristotle they are 
rid of animism. But it was not till Descartes that for 
philosophy at least the idea was destroyed, and the notion of 
mind as non-extended finally accepted. To-day students 
of physical science are in the position of the earliest Greek 
thinkers, setting aside mind altogether in order to consider 
external facts. 

Yet Aristotle, Immaterialist as he was, would not take soul 
apart from body, but held that we can only study mind in 
relation to body, and as manifested in all sentient beings 1 . 
See how, in default of the notion of subjective, he brings out 
logos, in calling mental states Xo yot ewAoi a logical, as 
opposed to a physical view 2 . It is true that in relating mind 
to body he makes some reservation in the case of the vovs, 
and almost commits himself to saying that thinking has no 
relation to body. Yet his meaning is rather that thought is 

1 Cf. e.g. his allusion to anger. De Anima^ I, ch. i. 10, n. 

2 ... it is clear that the feelings (irdOr) ) are materialised notions 
(\6yoi eVvAot). Ibid. 



220 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

distinguishable, not x<P l * v > or separable, from body. Never 
does he say, like Plato, that mind is incorporeal, immaterial *. 

Plato, for that matter, is inconsistent on this point. In the 
Ph&do he says that mind or soul is absolutely incorporeal ; 
in the Republic and TimcEus he lodges it about the body and 
holds that only thinking goes on in the brain. This was 
owing to Plato s psychology being so far unscientific as to 
serve a purpose, either political, ethical or theological. In the 
TimcEus he is a speculative theologian, considering the self- 
manifestation of God ; in the Republic he is philosophising, 
ethically and politically. Hence his concepts and language 
vary with his different standpoints. Whereas Aristotle, as 
far as he went, was thoroughgoing and consistent. 

As to Aristotle s definition of mind as entelechy, or first 
entelechy/ no word perhaps better interprets this in its bearing 
upon body than that generally adopted of realisation or 
actualisation. Mind as form gives reality or actuality to body, 
which without its in-working (evcpycia) remains merely a 
potentiality (Swapis) like unhewn stone. Mind is implicated 
in body, but is distinguishable from, superior, prior to it. 
Mind is not body, nor yet a harmony resulting from body, 
but is necessary to give body a real existence (II, ch. i). 

The force however in the term entelechy lay for Aristotle 
in the telos end or purpose. What most struck him in the 
universe was end or purpose everywhere inherent. A thing, 
he held, was real in so far as it had an end or purpose 
of its own, more or less, if animate; if inanimate, not of its 
own. And the higher animate beings are conscious of their 

1 This is said with reference to the individual human mind, and 
not to the vovs xupiarts or cosmic mind, which as an ontologically 
prior reality Aristotle calls dira6f)s KOI d/^ry^s (De An. iii. 5). See 
infra, p. 227, and p. 229. ED. 



XXL] Elements of General Philosophy. 221 

end ; they are self-realising. Now in proportion as there is 
the getting an end to the individual existence and the working 
towards it, there is mind manifested. Mind or soul is a kind 
of life, and life as mentally endowed is self-realising. Aristotle 
first introduced the idea of an organ, of something formed to 
carry out a particular purpose or function. The notion of 
organism as distinct from a mechanical aggregate was that 
which subserves a purpose, and, in a mental organism, its 
own purpose. Object subjectively realised, object realised 
ty a subject who knows this was what he was really groping 
after and working towards. This comes out, for instance, in 
his theory of sensation, and, by rendering it epistemological, 
spoils it as psychology (n^clkjy^ii^ ? 

Aristotle s division or scheme of soul nutritive, sentient, 
cognitive (the last I have condensed, since the division is 
practically threefold) is not a logical division under a genus, 
butts in the order of increasing connotation^ Its divisions 
are rather to be described as stages in the development 
of soul, constituting an evolutionary concept, as Grote might 
have called it, or concept of the gradual differentiation or 
progressive development of mind a wonderful stroke of 
insight, and a striking advance on Plato s psychology 1 . 
There is a verbal likeness to Plato s three-fold phase or 
division of soul the appetitive, the passionate, the rational 
but this distinction was intended to subserve an ethical 
purpose, and is not fertile scientifically. Aristotle s scheme 
is good psychology. His kinds of soul are stages of psychic 
development, just as we call sense not a division in psychic 

1 Note him, in I, i. 6 and elsewhere, worrying over the choice 
between a faculty-theory and an inquiry into facts and laws deter 
mining facts; now keeping clear of the former and now getting 
entangled. 



222 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

life but a stage, inasmuch as children feel, will and know in 
relation to sense alone (Elements of Psychology, Lect. VIII). 

The chapters on Sense (Book III, i-ii) are very remarkable. 
The first serious attempt to form a theory of sense in Greece 
was that made by Democritus a theory so effectively 
striking that we still use his terms. Things, he held, are 
constantly throwing off images (ei &oAa), which pass into the 
body through the peripheries of the sense-organs and are 
stored up in the brain to be produced by memory. This he 
connects with his general atomistic theory. He makes all 
the organs of sense developments of Touch, a view that is 
to a great extent borne out by modern biology with regard to 
taste and smell, and perhaps to hearing and sight, although 
with regard to sight embryology presents difficulties. 

Plato had no proper doctrine of sense ; he considered the 
subject rather from an ascetic point of view. The Sophists 
however had anticipated some of the modern theories, 
especially that of primary and secondary qualities, and 
generally of qualities as subjective experiences of our own 
which we project into objects. This was pre-eminently the 
case with Protagoras in his sceptical conclusion as to reality 
that truth is wnat each man troweth. Their doctrine, it is 
true, was. not b"ased on any scientific theory of sense. Plato, 
as we know, understood this doctrine of sense, but cared not 
for it. Knowledge, as he conceived it, lay elsewhere. / 

Now Aristotle, while he is unanticipated in the account he 
gives of the different kinds of sensation, is reactionary with 
respect to the Sophistic theory of the relativity of sense. He 
does not distinguish between primary and secondary qualities 
of matter ; all qualities for him are primary, embedded in 
things. He upholds the immanence, for example, of colour. 
The deficiencies in his doctrine of sense arise from his total 



xxi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 223 

ignorance of the physiology of the nervous system as involved 
in sensation. Of this Plato had gathered some notion from 
Hippocrates and others. 

Again he makes no distinction between sensation and 
perception. But his account of sense is very good and in 
earnest, complicated though it is by the philosophical question 
of the relation of subject to object 1 ^ He insists on the 
fundamental importance^ psychological and philosophical, of 
Touch, and opposes to it the other senses as not needing 
a medium. Yet even in Touch there is a kind of medium, 
namely, the skin. 

He saw in sensation a process to be explained in terms 
of motion, the transmission of a movement from object to 
organ* Nevertheless he had no clear physical doctrines 
of medium or movement; his concepts are metaphysical. 
Do not be beguiled into seeking parallels with modern 
mechanical concepts: Aristotle had no notion of the part 
played by nerve-centres, while we cannot define sensation out 
of relation to these. On molecular transmission he has fallen 
back from the position reached by Democritus, Hippocrates 
and Plato, who discerned atomic motion continued inside. 
He also- has fallen behind them with respect to the subjectivity 
of sensation, a theory, for that matter, not fully developed 
till the days of Descartes, Locke and Berkeley. He got 
instead into bad metaphysic as to the relation of object and 
subject, finding colour, sound, "&cf, really in things ; he 
expressly rejected Protagoreanism, and saved himself by 
juggling more or less with fom/m, and eWpyaa. In our day 
it is said that colour, physically speaking, is the result of 

1 E.g. Book II, ch. v. That Aristotle neglects to distinguish in 
either case is overlooked by Wallace, whose psychology is not his 
strongest point. 



224 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

molecular motion in object, medium and brain, and that, 
when these movements are propagated up to the brain, then, 
psychologically speaking, a state of consciousness follows. 
And we find that we ought not to pretend to get farther 
towards bringing nerves and consciousness together ; indeed 
that we never shall. Aristotle s theory was that there is a 
potency in the object and a potency in the organism, and 
that by contact we get an actuality through both, a ratio 
established between object and organism by way of a medium. 
Grote will here be found helpful, but he is not justified in 
identifying the visual medium with ether, nor with our 
concept of mode of motion. Aristotle was only able to 
invent the abstraction transparency/ Note too with caution 
Grote s big words for the medium in hearing and in smell. 
Aristotle gives good description but no scientific account ; he 
gives no efficient explanation, metaphysical, scientific or any 
other. We do not want a logos between sensation and 
object. 

Some of the questions raised in the third Book (chh. i, ii) 
are of great psychological import ; some are trivial, e. g. the 
first : why we can have only five senses, the answer con 
necting them with the four elements. We actually have 
more ; animals may have more ; we may be developing more. 
But in Aristotle s day there was no fund of positive know 
ledge as a basis for further inquiry. 

Part of his doctrine of sensation Aristotle only indicates 
here ; it is to be sought in the De Sensu. Grote s references 
to it should be attended to, especially the passages con 
cerning our apprehension of the common sensibles (rd 
Koiva ala-drjra) and our associations of two sensibles. Aris 
totle there treats of the first sentient (n-pwrov aiV&yrmn/), 
or sensorium commune, the medium between soul and 



xxi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 225 

sense-organ. This, physically speaking, is for him the heart. 
All the streams of movement contributed by the senses go 
to the heart by way not of the blood but of the hot air in 
the blood, and when the heart is reached by the disturbance 
then there is consciousness. Thus he conceived sense as one, 
fed by many currents, or as one stem with many branches. 
Hence, he thought, we can have sensations common to 
different senses, while we can also distinguish between 
sensations of different senses. Here we have the herald of 
the expression sensus communis, or general sense (Cf. Elements 
of Psychology, Lect. IX). In the De Sensu the term KOIVTJ 
aiarfyais is used with a purely psychological meaning. 

Note how, though in a crude way, he raises the question 
of self-consciousness : seeing, e. g., and perceiving that we 
see (Book II, ch. ii). 

Grote svery cursory notice of Aristotle s common sensibles 
is a defect. No doctrine has had a more remarkable develop 
ment than this. Hamilton (in his Note D on Reid) brings 
out a complete coincidence between it and the doctrine of 
Primary and Secondary Qualities* He goes so far as to 
think that the Koina aistheta may be reconciled with Reid s 
common sense) Perhaps so, yet Aristotle is never meta 
physical on this point. Democritus and Protagoras had 
some such distinction, viz. between qualities that were really 
in things, such as motion, and qualities imputed to things, 
such as colour, which were derived from the former and are 
thus really modes of motion^ Aristotle called them (III, 
chapter ii, 8) partly right, partly wrong. Not wholly 
rejecting their Relativisnv he did not like it, and evaded it 
by rendering all sensations in terms of matter and form. 
This, though it was a large, coherent doctrine, was scien 
tifically retrograde* All progress since Descartes has been 

Q 



226 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

on Democritean lines. Aristotle s matter and form is no 
real advance, is not his strong point. 

But if this is so, if Aristotle denies subjectivity not only in 
primary but also in secondary qualities, then Hamilton s 
parallel is upset. For the latter there is a reason, if not an 
excuse. Aristotle s Koina happen to coincide in the main 
with primary qualities. But the doctrine of the Qualities is 
metaphysical with a psychological basis, whereas Aristotle s 
distinction between common and particular sensibles is 
purely psychological. He has plenty of metaphysic, but this 
special distinction was not made by him psychologically as 
a basis for metaphysic as we make it, or rather as Reid and 
Hamilton made it. But both these thinkers invariably 
confused psychology with philosophy. Aristotle dimly sees 
the force there is in the term Koina, but does not realise it 
(as, e. g. in his allusion to touch and sight, Grote, p. 465 c). 
Since Berkeley we have denied that the distinction between 
primary and secondary qualities is valid ; Protagoras saw 
this too. Knowing what we do as to the coefficient of 
muscular sense in sight and touch we say, as against 
Descartes, Locke, Berkeley and Aristotle, that the senses do 
not as such give us common sensibles. Aristotle s followers 
themselves soon grew dissatisfied and imputed our appre 
hension of the Koina to intellect, or rational apprehension. 
Apart from muscular sense, they cannot be psychologically 
explained, and it was through neglecting this that the 
Scottish school fell back on common sense, belief, law of 
the conditioned and so forth. 

Next a we have Aristotle s doctrine of reason (vovs), with 
the interpolated discussion of imagination or phantasy 

1 Book III, chh. iii.-viii. These should not only be read but 
worried at. Wallace s introduction is not very helpful. 



xxi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 227 

(<ai/rao-ia). This, like perception, may be viewed either 
subjectively or on its physiological side. Aristotle considers 
both aspects, giving in the germ what in this century has been 
developed by Professor Bain, who uses idea for image. 
The subject is treated more fully in the treatise De Memoria^ 
\v,here memory is distinguished as imagination with a definite 
temporal reference (modern psychology can say little more), 
and where there are suggestions of laws of association- 
contiguity, similarity and contrast. Now Aristotle only 
notices association in connexion with reminiscence. This 
is a defect. Under association we simply refer to certain 
modes in the flow of our images, whereas reminiscence 
is a complex intellectual function involving volition. 

Why should there be so little here on imagination ? 
Aristotle s whole doctrine of the psychology of representative 
intellection is very undeveloped, inasmuch as his discussion 
is rather epistemological than psychological, namely, on the 
relation of thought to its object ; more, it is metaphysical or 
ontological, involving reference to an outer sphere of real 
being. And his metaphysic vitiates his psychology here 
even more than in his doctrine of sense. He asks whether 
images ($ai/ra<7/iaTa) are true or false; these are matters of 
opinion (So o), and opinion may be either. But this is not 
psychology. It is only in the De Memona that in this 
connexion he is properly psychological. 

Even there we find the assertion that nous comes into man 
from without (6vpa6ev). Aristotle could not in fact quite 
overcome the Zeitgeist of his age and his environment. Nor 
had he Plato s poetic mantle to throw around himself; he is 
"nothing if not literal and prosaic. Grote s discursus at 
this stage (p. 480 et seq.), connecting the nous-doctrine with 
.Aristotle s physics and cosmogony is quite justified by that 

Q 2 



228 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

phrase from without/ Aristotle saw that knowledge was 
a philosophical question, yet he has not treated of it in the 
Metaphysics, where his theme is of being as being/ always 
excepting the first book, with its discussion of the principles 
of knowledge and their relation to sense. Yet here Aristotle 
had no idea of working out a theory of knowledge as 
a necessary introduction to a theory of being. For us, as we 
have seen (Lecture I), problems of being have since Kant 
come to be considered as subject to problems of knowledge. 
It is through the doctrine of knowledge that we approach 
ontological questions. Many a modern thinker has raised 
philosophical questions in his psychology, but Aristotle 
so rode off on them as to neglect the psychology of the 
intellect. Yet he did not neglect to point out that reason 
cannot work without images. Thought requires a basis 
of representative imagination. This is all that he does for 
the theory of thought as a mode of intellection. 

Here note the remark in Grote (p. 484 and footnote e] 
on Aristotle s Nominalism good in substance, though the 
term is a misnomer, no reference having been made to 
language in the De Am ma. Aristotle only said that we 
cannot conceive a general without a certain amount of 
particulars. The Nominalist says that we cannot think 
in general without the help of a name, that is, except by 
means of language. This at least is Hobbes s Nominalism. 
Berkeley s Nominalism holds that we cannot think without 
a form, that is, without reference to the particular. Thus 
Berkeley goes no farther than Aristotle. But there is no 
Nominalism in the De Anima. To this extent it is defective, 
that the relation of thought to language is passed over. 
Yet Aristotle did see that the two are connected, are practi 
cally the same thing on different sides. This we see in 



xxi.j Elements of General Philosophy. 229 

his Logic, where he always deals with judgments on the side 
of language, and with reasoning as expressed in arguments. 
And suggestions that he saw this are to be found up and 
down in the De Am ma, yet they are barely to be so called. 
All is quite implic% 

If Aristotle had carefully worked out the psychological 
doctrine of thought, and considered the psychological func 
tion of language, he would have seen many of the difficul 
ties of his nous (so far as they were psychological) disappear 
without the need of reference to celestial bodies. For the 
question of thought suggests that of the comrmmity of know 
ledge, and it is this that troubles him How is it that we all 
come to think alike ? How have we a common consciousness ? 
Imagination is of the individual consciousness, but that thought 
is common consciousness (cf. Reid s Common Sense ) is 
inevitably begotten by a consideration of the psychology of 
thought. It is to explain this that he goes out to the Kosmos, 
to theories of the rie.avenly spheres, to an Eternal Nous, who 
enters in and informs each of us, if not in full purity as with 
God, yet so as, by acting on our imaginations, to emerge 
in common consciousness, And all this to fill up the void 
left by ignoring language as a social act, a bond holding 
men together \ 

The relation of nous to mind or soul generally, and of nous 
as active and passive, has formed the battle-ground of Aristo 
telian commentators all along, opportunity being given by 
Aristotle s obscurities and deficiencies. For instance, while 
Grote very decisively negatives the view that Aristotle pre 
dicated immortality of the individual intellect, the mediaeval 
commentators argue with equal decision for the opposite con 
clusion. I think that he is too positive as to what Aristotle s 
utterances may be held to warrant. Again, Grote speaks very 



230 Elements of General Philosophy. 

clearly on the contrast between reason as active and reason as 
passive (vovs TTOITJTIKOS, vov? TradrjriKos, De. An. Ill, v). Wallace, 
too, among the liberties he now and then takes in text and 
translation, applies the former adjective to nous in his index. 
Yet nowhere does Aristotle himself call nous active (TTO^TIKOS) ; 
he only suggests the term. 

I hold that Aristotle was staggering on this doubtful ground, 
and that commentators have rushed in to wrangle where he 
feared to tread. 

Once more, if Aristotle compared mind at birth to a blank 
writing-tablet, he meant only that the nous was not a fixed 
body of innate principles, but something potential, which could 
grow and develop. 

NOTE. I much regret that no notes are forthcoming on Aristotle s 
theory of conation (Book III, chh. ix-xi), w^th which the lecturer 
had announced the intention of dealing at the end of the course. For 
further discussion on emotion students were referred to Aristotle s 
Rhetoric and Ethics. ED. 



LECTURE XXII. 



READING. (Euvres de Descartes, ed. Jules Simon, 1844. Discours sur 
la Methode. (Euvres choisies de Descartes, ed. Gamier, 1876. 
Discours de la Methode; Regies pour la Direction de 1 Esprit. 
The Method, Meditations, and Selections from the Principles of 
Descartes, ed. J. Veitch, 1879. Discourse on Method. 

SUCH is the importance of Descartes in the history of 
modern philosophy that it behoves us to enter in some detail 
into the development of his thought. He, if any one, lets 
us know especially in the Discourse on Method and the 
Meditations what were the most intimate workings of his 
thought, what he started from, what he came to, and what 
he was aiming at. We must first see that we keep in mind 
the circumstances of his life. 

Born 1596, of a noble family in, though not of, Touraine, 
Rend des Cartes went at eight years of age, a lad weakly 
in constitution but precocious, to the new and famous 
Jesuit school of La Fleche, the Jesuits having returned to 
France after the conversion of Henry IV. From the first 
the Jesuits have sought to attract men of the world to the 
Church by accommodating the Church to the world, chiefly 
by giving a highly efficient secular education to the young. 
They have always been well versed in the best thought of 

1 From lectures delivered April to June, 1880. 



232 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the country, and have bent that knowledge to the interests of 
the Church ; but at the same time they have ever upheld and 
still uphold the Scholastic philosophy, especially as taught 
by Aquinas. Descartes subsequent strictures on education 
did not include~ahy reflexion on his own teachers, with whom 
he ever remained on friendly terms. Trained thoroughly 
in Scholastic traditions, he was also made proficient in 
mathematics. This had been neglected by the Schoolmen, 
but had revived at the Renaissance, when the work both 
of Euclid and of the Arabs (algebra) came to be known. 

Bacon, who during Descartes early youth was deep in 
politics, and in the publication of the Advancement of 
Learning and the Novum Organon, was almost absolutely 
ignorant of mathematics, and had no notion of its use in the 
study of JJgilJy:^ His Inductive Method has no place for 
j it, and hence he does not properly hea d "the jnoderri scientific 
movement. To the extent that mathematics has rendered 
the latter possible, Descartes is the pioneer. Wolsey s 
chair of mathematics at Oxford was suspended after his 
fall for a century. Hobbes while at Oxford (1603-8) 
remained utterly ignorant of mathematics, and was over forty 
when he first saw a copy of Euclid s Elements, whereas 
Descartes was, like Pascal (his junior by twenty-seven years), 
a mathematical discoverer in his early youth. 

Till he was twenty-three he studied mathematics, either ex 
clusively and in seclusion, or in the intervals of military life. 
It was when he was serving under Tilly, at the opening of 
the Thirty Years War, and was working still at mathematics 
in winter-quarters at Neuburg, that the crisis of his philosophic 
life occurred. He had been comparing the certainty of his 
mathematical results with the doubtfulness of all other know 
ledge, and this brought him to a state of despair. Tempted 



XXIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 233 

to resort anywhere for light, he turned to magic ; then to 
inspiration from prayer, vowing a pilgrimage to Loretto if he 
could find peace of mind. Then came the day of seclusion, 
enferme seul dans un poele (read the Discours, Part II). 
Mathematics, he saw, led to conclusions positively true. 
Could he not, by applying the method of mathematics to 
knowledge generally, get truth in other subjects as well ? 

After two more years of service and four of travel (in 
cluding the pilgrimage), studying, as he said, the book of the 
world, he returned in 1625 to Paris, feeling that, if he had 
not yet got certainty, at least he had got on to the right track. 
There he alternately moved in scientific circles (no other 
city had a mathematical circle), and disappeared for months 
together. He would reappear ever riper in thought, and 
finally created great expectations among his friends. At 
length, after his return from studying siege-appliances at the 
siege of La Rochelle, 1628, he created a sensation at the 
house of Cardinal De Bagne , where he exposed the fallacies 
of Chandoux, a pretender to new science, by showing how 
it was possible, by using the current arguments of the day, 
to disprove anything claiming to be established truth, and to 
prove true anything apparently false. Cardinal Berulle 
thereupon advised him to set forth a constructive philosophy. 
He may at this time have written the Regies (Regulce. ad 
diredionem ingenii), but however that may be, he now re 
moved to Holland, where society was quiet and liberal, and 
there he lived, off and on, for twenty years (1629-49), 
changing his residence twenty-four times, visiting England, 
Denmark and France, and finally returning to France. During 
that time all his chief works were written. 

The publication of the Discours de la Me thode in 1637 at 
once attracted friends and foes. The Meditationes de Prima 



234 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Philosophia followed in 1641, the Principia Philosophic in 
1644. The efforts of Dutch theologians to get him 
denounced and expelled, emanating from Utrecht and 
Leyden, kept him perpetually unsettled, and much con 
troversial writing was drawn from him. He was invited to 
return to France, but neither there was it possible to live 
quietly, society being unsettled through the Fronde. Hence 
he accepted the invitation of Queen Christina of Sweden, 
a girl full of intellectual eagerness and his pupil already by 
correspondence, and went to Stockholm, 1649. To have to 
come to the palace to give instruction at five a.m. in the depth 
of winter affected his lungs and killed him, February n, 
1650. 

The three works last mentioned and Les Passions de 
FAme, published just after his death, are those in which 
Descartes is most commonly studied. But much that we 
know of him is derived from his Letters edited by Clerselier 
(1665-7). Other works, e.g. the Regies, and the Recherche de 
la Verite par la Lumiere naturelle, were not published till 1 701. 
After his death his MSS. were sent to Paris, but fell into 
the Seine, lay there three days, and were carelessly dried, so 
that there are flaws. The Recherche, though crude and 
incomplete, really gives the best exposition of his system as 
a method. Internal evidence shows it must have been 
written not later than 1629. The Method advocates the 
importance of acquiring a certain way of thinking before 
any philosophically valid results .can be arrived at. With it, 
as a collection of Philosophical Essays, he published three 
applications of his method : Dioptrica (on refraction, giving 
also a good account of sense), Meteora, and Geometria, the 
last setting out his special method as got from, rather than 
applied to, mathematics. Modern analytical geometry dates 



xxii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 235 

from this work. In the Method he hints at a greater work 
he was keeping back. He apparently thought it best to 
publish not a philosophy of mind, but a doctrine of nature, 
which was really the outcome of that philosophy. This 
standpoint marks him off from Galileo and Newton, who v/ 
investigated on lines of positive science without having regard 
to mind. Accordingly, in 1630, he set himself to write the 
treatise Le Monde, ou Traite de la Lumiere, at the end of 
which he brings in the philosophic principles which had 
been all along in his mind. This work, which was finished 
in 1633, he was about to publish, when Galileo was put on 
his trial before the Holy Inquisition on account of his 
Dialogue on the motion of the earth. The Copernican 
theory had not even then been accepted by the Church, 
although certain popes had been disposed in its favour. 
Galileo dared to expound it, but only as the hypothesis that 
best fitted the facts. Descartes had done the same in Le 
Monde, but as timid by nature, a sincere Catholic, and above 
all things preferring an undisturbed life to fame, he suppressed 
the work. What was later on published under this title was 
simply a section of the original work. The gist of the latter 
was actually given in the Principia, with the modified view 
that not the earth, but the medium in which the earth is, 
moves round the sun (cf. infra p. 261). By 1637 his fears 
and scruples had given way, and in the Method, written in 
French, he refers to his Monde. 

The Meditations, where are demonstrated the existence 
of God and the distinction of soul from body/ written 
in Latin, and appealing to the learned, were published in 
1641-1642, together with the objections raised by certain 
critics who had read them in MS. The most important of 
these were Hobbes, Gassendi and Arnauld, the two former 




236 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

advancing Epicureanism and Sensationalism of a crude 
type. 

Descartes after this took courage and set forth his whole 
philosophy in the Printipia, in dogmatic form and not 
analytically as in the Meditations. The Passions, a psycho- 
physiological study of the relations of body to mind, was 
written in 1646 for his pupil Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, 
grand-daughter of our James I. 

An important minor work, entitled Remarks by Descartes 
on a Certain Placard printed in the Netherlands, was written 
in 1647 i n opposition to the view of his ardent admirer 
Regius, or Leroy, a Utrecht professor, who had, professedly 
from the Cartesian point of view, transformed Dualism into 
something very like later Materialism, speaking of body as 
having two modes, thought and extension, and of knowledge 
as due to our sense-experience of body acting on body. 
The Remarks set out more clearly than elsewhere Descartes 
view as to the relation between reason, innate ideas and 
experience. If elsewhere he is crude, here he is circumspect, 
agreeing with what Leibniz said later on of predispositions 
and aptitudes. 

The Recherche adds nothing new, but shows him as 
having so mastered his philosophy that he undertakes to 
make it plain in dialogue to any intellect. 

To understand how Descartes came to philosophise, let 
us begin with his doctrine of method as set out expressly, 
not in the Method, though in the four rules there given we 
iave the sum and substance of it, but in the Regies 1 . 
first point is that philosophy is methodic thinking as 

1 The Regies is incomplete, unfinished, tortuous and not clear; 
probably Descartes was striving to work his method out fully. Study 
especially Rule XII. 



xxii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 237 



opposed to thmkinj^^ through custom, 

and is free from all trace of doubt. Erudition, conversance 
^with opinions and facts, is not knowledge. /True knowledge 
must have been individually thought over. Here he opposes 
both Scholasticism and the Renaissance. The philosopher s 
business is to arrive at all knowledge, for ^knowledge is one ; 
until you know all you do not know at all. This was his 
attack on specialists. It is the business of philosophers to 
keep all knowledge together. This is harder now than then, 
yet there is now more need than ever to do so. Descartes, 
however, did not by universal science mean knowledge of 
everything, but that the way of arriving at truth, the method 
of discovery, is the same for all things. That is to say, you 
may be a specialist on the condition that you have had 
a philosophic training. A specialist should know something 
of the way of knowing truth generally. 

i/^All knowledge, he held, must begin with what can be (7 
clearly thought through and through.. True knowledge he 
contrasts with vague opinion. We are now less inclined 
than Descartes to look askance at the probable. Descartes 
certainty is found to be not so certain. There is even 
mathematical knowledge that is only probable. Nevertheless 
there is a great difference between what is well known 
and what is badly known. The opposition between truth and 
opinion does not lose its value, even when we are not so 
certain on some questions as he was. 

To continue : In order to arrive at perfect knowledge, 
at universal science, we must start fromjhe simplest truths, 
from those we can most clearly apprehend, namely, from 
intuitions, and proceed by synthesis to more complex ideas. 
If other relatively complex cognitions become as clear 
as those intuitions, we have then arrived at truth by 



238 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

deduction^* Rut deduction, applied in any complex case, must 
begin with an enumeration or induction of all the points 
entering into the question to be set out of all the conditions 
on which the solution depends. Thus the deductive act 
proper consists in passing progressively from condition to 
conditioned, and, if the way is long and the steps are many, 
in passing repeatedly up and down the same until all the 
elements are mastered, and the last and most complex, with 
all that it depends on, stands out with the same evidence 
as the first, g The first conditions which are themselves not 
conditioned, and involve no conclusion, must have an im 
mediate certainty and be intuitions, that is, directly known. 
M For intuition, to start with, and deduction, as the way, are 
all that the human mind has to go upon for certainty. This 
is most plainly put in Regie V. 

What we have to know indirectly we can know as certainty, 
as intuition, if we practise deduction in this way. And the 
method applies not only to all special questions, but also to 
problems of general knowledge. Descartes was a methodo- 
logist, but he had a philosophy to produce as well. To 
do this it seemed to him equally essential to go back to 
fundamental intuitions having reference to the fact of in 
telligence ; indeed all knowledge of special questions comes 
1 for him to depend upon his philosophical proof of the 
j possibility of knowledge generally. He insists in the Regies 
on the question of knowledge itself as preliminary to any 
solution of special questions of science 1 . He there strikes 
the note of the philosopher and not of the methodologist. 
We must know what the human mind can settle before we 
go in for any special study. The passages might have 
been written by Kant and may be compared with Locke s 
1 Cf. Regies I and VIII. 



xxii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 239 

Introduction to his Essay. But of such we find no trace 
in Bacon. 

The student may find Descartes usage of the terms Deduc 
tion and Induction puzzling. He seems to waver in his 
choice and render satisfactory explanation by means of them 
impossible by employing them interchangeably, and in other 
senses than those of logic. According to his view of know 
ledge, there are some things we are sure of directly, or can 
by attention be brought to see that we really are sure, of 
directly. These intuitions may assume the form of pro 
positions, and as such they become useful in philosophy or 
science. In them our knowledge is reduced to its simplest 
terms, and we see between the terms of such propositions 
a necessary connexion. For example, body must be ex 
tended. Whether the necessity be analytic or synthetic, he 
did not, like Kant, proceed to inquire. 

Of other things we are not sure directly, but can become U 
sure of by a process of thought connecting them with what 
we are directly sure of. And this process of becoming sure 
is what he calls deduction, or sometimes, when the steps 
are few, intuition *. But he would never have called a deduc 
tion an intuition if it were founded upon an induction or 
enumeration of conditions. 

Now deduction, he declared, was a process that the 
commonest minds can perform. All men have direct in 
tuition of some things, and cannot help having it ; the final 
result of a deduction is also easily seen ; thus logicians are 
unnecessary. Why then did he lay so much stress on 
method, and even on preliminary investigation ? And what 
did he mean by contemning the old logic, a view shared 
for that matter by all the advancing minds of his time? 
1 Cf. Regie XL 



240 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 



Descartes never compfcfpd -h mptVin^l He broke down 
in the last rules when applying them to geometry. His 
slighting remarks on traditional logic are therefore possibly 
too hasty. But his opposition amounts to this, that he is 
less concerned about proof or exposition than he is about 

discovery. He wants not so much to set out what was 
already got as to find how to arrive at the unknown from the 

V known. Yet his view was not that of J. S. Mill on real 
inference. Mill (in his Logic) was concerned about a theory 
of proof, of proof in general statements going beyond actual 
observation, and where formal proof was therefore impossible. 
j Descartes wanted a theory of discovery. This is implied in 
his attempt, with the help of algebra, to systematise and 
extend the method of mathematical analysis, which was 
a method of actual discovery not unrelated to proof, yet 
different from the proving what has already been discovered 1 . 
Nevertheless, as we have seen, while decrying the old logic, 
he created difficulties by misusing terms borrowed therefrom. 

I/ Instead of deduction and induction he ought to have used 

I analysis and synthesis. He could then have used the 
former terms as well. For analysis assumes the form 
sometimes of induction, sometimes of deduction. Right 

I procedure is analysis followed up by synthesis. There is no 
opposition between proof and discovery ; they are comple 
mentary one of the other, and are both different aspects 
of the same process of knowing. Mark Descartes himself 
in Rule XII, where he says that knowledge is simple or 
composite, and considers the ways of knowing the com 
posite through the example of the magnet. Some men set 
about investigating this with no method, turning away from 
the evident and looking to find something new in it by 
1 Vide my article Analysis, Encycl. Brit. 



XXIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 241 

chance. The scientific man, who knows the difference 
between the simple and the complex, musters all his particular 
observations of the magnet, and is thence able to deduce the 
nature of its composition, as far as experience can furnish 
the requisite data. This departs little from the best any 
man has ever said on the process of discovery. Mill strays 
into discovery from proof. Jevons divides the two. Never 
theless Descartes so mixes up his sound idea of discovery 
with the terms of proof that confusion results. 

It should be borne in mind that up to Rule XII Descartes 
has been setting out general considerations on the problem 
of method. In XII itself he gives his theory of knowledge 
in a view of the knowing faculty, showing the relation <rf 
the injLellejtL-lQ.,-Seng imagination and memory. Here is 
his first really philosophic point. We have to distinguish 
between ourselves as knowing and .things^ known. The 
latter he deals with in the light of what we know of the 
knowing faculty. They are either simple or complex. The 
former he has disposed of already ; we know them by in 
tuition ; composites we know by deduction. Into the latter 
he now goes more fully, dealing with them as Questions 
(a) perfectly comprehended ; (b) imperfectly comprehended. 
(a) are questions of mathematics. Concerning (b) the twelve < 
rules he was about to give are not given, but in the I*rin- 
cipia we find the results of rules followed consciously or 
unconsciously. 

Before leaving the Method let us glance at Bacon, 
Descartes great predecessor jn respect of method. We may 
easily draw a parallel between them. Both were men of i 
their time, dissatisfied with the old ways; both were con 
cerned about real knowledge and looked to method to bring 
it about. But here the parallel ceases. Bacon s point of view 

R 



242 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

>. was objective. He alwaysdealt jtvith jhe : external jvorldas we 
find it in common life, with the ordinary idea of experience. 

N He did not begin with a theory of knowledge as a ground 
for his method. Hejieyer philosophically jnquired what is 
the relation of experience to knowledge. Yet it is remarkable 
how, from_ his unphilosophic point of view, Bacon does by 
induction virtually aim at explaining experience and comes 
, round to Descartes results. So far as nature is concerned, 
Descartes, no less than Bacon J j^gaj4s_ej^tejQ^on,^ngL.mQJLiQJt 
as the fundamentals upon which we can explain all our 
experience of the physical world. Bacon says constantly that, 
having got experience of a certain kind, we must get other 
similar experiences, mass them together^ and so hope to 
find the forms of things, or what we can make out by com 
parison of phenomena. Ultimately form comes to be indis 
tinguishable from sensible appearances expressed in terms 
of motkm. He shows, for example, that heat is motion. 

But_ permanent differences remain. Descartes regarded 
all with a view to a general theory of knowledge. He 
proposed to deal with the whole realm of physical science 
in a certain definite and progressive way. Bacon had no 
idea of a general science except as a result of all special 
effort. Djescartes gets his general principles by way of 
deduction, Bacon, by induction. Yet Descartes by no 
means makes light of experience and of experiment^ but 
made a place for it in his scheme of knowledge. He says, 
for instance, that he could not proceed to medicine for want 
of experience and experiment. And in a letter he said that 
Bacon had so thoroughly treated of experimental knowledge 
in his Novum Organon that it was practically useless for 
any one to try to go ahead of him. But Bacon seemed to 
think that in a specific solution he had got all that the mind 



xxii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 243 

wants. Descartes thought that, having established experi- 

mentally, we could give a rational explanation deductively 
which is the ideal of science. 

Descartes prematurely and arbitrarily got deductions from 
general principles, and thus lost the full sense of contact 
with fact that exists in the properly scientific man. JH^: 
attached more value to internal coherence and consistency 
than to the consistency of results with fact. He had not the 
sense of the duty of verification, which is now held as soj 
important. This has come to us rather upon the line of J 
Bacon s injunctions than of Descartes practice. 



K 2 



LECTURE XXIII. 

ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF DESCARTES. 

READING. The Meditations, i-v. (Simon, Gamier, or Veitch.) 

IT will not be possible here to treat of Descartes philosophy 
adequately in a general explication l . I shall therefore only 
single out special difficulties, and bring to bear upon them 
passages from other of Descartes works than those pre 
scribed for students reading. 

We have seen, in connexion with his Method, that if he 
is to have a philosophy, he needs an immediate certainty as 
a starting-point for all knowledge. In getting this for philo 
sophy, he believed himself to have got a foundation for all 
physical science. The characteristic note of modern philo 
sophy, the critical point of view which has been accepted 
since Kant, is that before there can be anything worth calling 
science (in general), and especially any knowledge of things 
as they really are, there must be a theory of knowing a 
discovery of what we can know and how we can know it, 
and of what we can not know. This, which became explicit 
in Kant, was anticipated implicitly in Locke. Descartes 
anticipated both. Kant arrived at his position by criticism ; 
the English school tried to set it out by way of psychology ; 
the same conception governs both, and it is at the bottom 
of Descartes procedure. 

1 His philosophy is given in outline in Lect. VII ; see also 
Lect. XI. ED. 



*^, **,**, i *ts of General Philosophy. 245 

We know that he found the certainty he sought in the in 
tuition Cogito ergo sum, and on it he sought to build up his 
theory. Does he build it up on that one intuition ? He really 
needed one more certainty, as we shall see. 

Read how he arrived at his Cogito in the first Medita 
tion : dubitandum est de omnibus. The omnibus comes to be 
everything he had got from authority and tradition, all the 
opinions he had grown up with. In common life we feel 
sure on the testimony of sense. But sense is often illusion 
and never are we sure that it is not. We have not even 
a criterion to distinguish between dreaming and waking 
(this he modifies later on). Our very mathematical cer 
tainties may not represent reality. For our fundamental 
philosophic certainty we must get below all these. 

Here note first that Descartes gives way to doubt, not for 
the pleasure of doubting, but only as a means to an end 
only for the sake of getting to know. Compare his proviso 
in the Method (Parts II, III). He is not^a sceptic. He 
has no wish to let practical life be affected by philosophic 
doubt. He simply means, You are not to be satisfied with 
things simply because they are in your mind/ All philo 
sophers have meant as much, even if they have not expressed 
it as a principle. It is nothing more than putting one s self 
at the subjective point of view. All philosophers not only 
do so, but must do so. They have to interpret the things 
of experience in this new subjective light, and this involves 
doubting where there had hitherto been trusting. People 
would say, that pillar is white, and act upon this belief; 
physical science too would proceed upon it. But psycho 
logical analysis resolves this quality of the pillar into some 
thing less inherent than had seemed apparent. 

Descartes then doubted in order to demonstrate. And, as 



246 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Leibniz wrote to Bernoulli, there is much difference between 
throwing doubt upon anything and seeking an ultimate de 
monstration of it. Nevertheless, he added, Descartes sinned 
1 doubly, first by doubting too much, then by getting away 
too easily from his doubts *. As for his doubting too much, 
it were more just to say, he doubted in too theatrical a way. 
It was a fault of manner ; he lacked simplicity. Nevertheless 
everyone in passing over to the subjective point of. view may, 
possibly must, undergo a struggle ; and Descartes probably 
had real and great labour in getting away from the common 
conception of knowledge. 

Now we have already seen how, when he had got to his 
cogito, or rather his dubito, he translated it, in the second 
Meditation, into Ego sum res cogitans a thing that thinks, a 
mind, understanding, reason that and nothing but that. All 
this, then, is implicit in the Cogito. From / think, and from 
nothing else, it follows that / am, that I am a mind. I am 
:~\ at bottom nothing but a thinking being, however I may come 
to see myself afterwards 2 . Note this and you will understand 
Y the objections to it. These were raised by critics to whom 
Descartes showed his Meditations in MS. Garnier s edition 
abridges them, missing many points in them. They are 
threefold : 

* * n Cogito^er^o_sum 9 the ergo introduces an inference, 
andjhus implies a major premise Whatever thinks, is. ~Bu~t 
Cj. this is a geneialisation, noLjm intuition (Objection II)" 
Descartes reply ((eebly abridged in Gamier) is that, in spite 
of the ergo, there" is no inference, but a simple act of mental 
inspection. His~meaning is * 1 x^Jnjfiiat I think.* * My"" 
thinking implies my existence is an intuition. More is the 

1 Cf. Erdmann, op. cit. p. 81. / 

2 Compare Meditation II, with the last few pages of the Recherche. 



of General Philosophy. 247 



pity then that ergo, indicating neither mediate nor immediate 
inference, should be there at all. In his reply to Hobbes, 
Descartes comes once upon the contrapositive : If I were ^ 
not Icould not think.. But enough of the ergo. The Cogito 
may be an intuition such as he wanted, but it is not the only 
one he uses. 

2. To Hobbes 7 s objections Descartes attached least im 
portance. Hobbes, who was then (1640) fifty years old 
and had formed definite philosophic notions of his own, 
treated Descartes magisterially, and his criticisms are some 
times, though not always, trivial. He was unable to get at 
Descartes point of view. Descartes replied : To object that 
the inference I am/ or I am a thinking thing/ from I 
think/ is as weak as to argue that because I am walking/ 
therefore I am a walk/ is irrelevant. A walk is never 
taken to mean anything but the action, while thought is 
used indifferently for the action, for the faculty and for that 
in which the faculty resides. Thought is like no other process 
or thing, and to discern this is the first step in philosophy. 
Thought then may = thinking thing ; and hereupon Descartes 
goes on to make a statement about substance, which is at 
variance with what he says elsewhere (infra, p. 256), namely, 
that we have no knowledge of substance except through its 
manifestations. As these are different, so do we infer different 
substance. Thinking, e. g. is different from extension ; there 
fore thinking substance is different from extended substance. 
Substance what it is in itself was puzzling Descartes as it 
was to puzzle Locke. 

3. Gassendi had no objection to the Cogito, but held that 
sum might be inferred as well from ambulo or any other 
action. No, rejoined Descartes, you can only say " you are," 
because you are conscious that you walk, that is, because you 



248 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

think ; thus reaffirming the potency for philosophy of the 
subjective point of view. This shows how much Gassendi 
with his revived Epicureanism and Democritean Atomism 
stood outside philosophic thought. He is to Descartes 
what Democritus was to Socrates and Plato. Hobbes took 
the objective point of view as well as his friend Gassendi, 
but he had also a keen philosophic appreciation which places 
him nearer to modern thought. We now pass on. 

The existeji_Q~of- self_as_^ thinking being Descartes now 
regards as certain because, in the midst of all his doubts, 
he apprehends with perfect clearness that this is so. I__ 
know ^distinctly that I am, and iJistinctly what I am : 
a tnTnking being and there is nothing else that I dis-^ 
tmctly apprehend about myselE I cannot get below thought. ^ 
Now if I can__as clearly apprehend anything else, this 
too must_J)e _true. Else how should the cogito be true ? 
Here he lays down his criterion of truth -Everything must 
be true which I perceive with perfect clearness and .dis= 
tinctness. Thought, when perfectly clear, portends reality. 
Why ? Because this is the only ground that can be given in 
regard to self as a thinking being. Thus he has got his 
first certainty and his criterion. 

But it is a criterion which takes no account of the relative 
character of anything that can be called truth or true know 
ledge. It fixes some things as final truths, which the mind 
rests in because they do not happen to have been resolved 
into higher or more general truths. And it denies that other 
things are in any sense truths, and that the mind for any 
purpose dare rest in them, because they do happen to have 
been so resolved. For instance, the resolution of sense into 
an effect (in mind) of mechanical stimulation may be an 
important truth, but neither is that all that may be said 



xxin. ] Elements of General Philosophy. 249 

scientifically or philosophically about sense, nor, when nothing 
of the kind is said, does sense cease to be some truth and 
become a mere source of error and deception. 

His next step is variously stated. There are two kinds of 
considerations that seem to press on his mind at this stage. 
First, is there a certainty beyond self ? Next, what are the 
circumstances under which his criterion, even when applied 
to self, can or cannot hold ? He is not prepared to apply it 
straightway. He does discover another certainty which 
supplies the ground foTThe criterion itself, and this is the 
existence of God: "Onlxjas he has this_is_he sure about his_ 
criterion, and even about himself. 

This seemed tortuous to objectors; nor did Descartes 
himself fail to see their point. In fact he gets to this 
second certainty, not from the first certainty (concerning 
self) by way of his criterion, or if from self then by 
way not of the criterion, but of a different principle 
that of Causality, which for him assumed these forms : 
Nothing can come from nothing ; everything must have 
a cause ; the more perfect cannot be a consequent of 
the less perfect; the cause must contain at least as much 
reality as the effect. If it contain more, it is a causa emi- 
nenter, just as the artist is more than his work ; if it contain 
only as much, he called it causa formaliter \ illustrating it 
by a die or seal and its imprint. 

1 The word formal is in Descartes more obscure than the simpler 
term eminenter standing out. It is really derived from the Aristotelian 
doctrine of action. Action with Aristotle always means forming ; 
hence Descartes takes formal to mean wrought by, and causa for- 
rnaliter, a working cause. But while this confuses the Aristotelian 
formal and efficient causes, Descartes induces further confusion by 
making formal reality synonymous with actual reality, and yet 
opposing it to what he calls objective reality (Veitch has good notes 






250 Elements of General Philosophy, [x 

This second principle, that of Causality, is so distinctly 
the means of his advancing in his system beyond self, that it 
has been well named his Archimedean fulcrum/ Spinoza 
saw as much when, in an early work, he set out an 
exposition of Descartes philosophy in mathematical form. 
He said that unless this principle is assumed, away goes the 
Cogito. If out of nothing something can come, then I_who 
think do not therefore necessarily exist. Descartes own 
/chosen principle of self-certainty is barren in his system 
compared with the principle of causality. The criterion 
of clearness and distinctness which he uses to establish his 
Ex nihilo nihil fit/ is if self not established beyond objection 
till God is proved to exist from that very Ex nihilo nihil fit/ 

Ideas therefore, i. e. anything of which we are conscious, 
must like everything else have a cause. Now can any of The 
th.ree possible kinds of ideas, innate, adventitious or fictitious, 
of which I am conscious, but the origin of which I do not 
know, carry me with the help of causality, beyond, out 
of, myself? Adventitious ideas seem to come from external 
objects can they ? 

All ideas are either of substances or modes of substance. 
The latter can be left aside as having less objective reality, 
i. e. as being less in thought than substances. Substances are 
fivefold : bodies inanimate, animals, men, angels, God. 
/ These are all he has ever thought of. The second, third, 
and fourth he can drop out ; for in having a certainty as to 
himself he can infer his equals, his inferiors, and beings 

on this point). It should however be borne in mind that he uses 
objective in the Scholastic sense. Subjective and objective have 
come to be used in precisely the opposite signification they bore for 
the Schoolmen. For Descartes too the objective meant what exists as 
thought of, mental representation. Subjective, on the other hand, 
referred to what ivas placed under in the way of substantial existence. 



of General Philosophy. 251 

relatively superior to himself. As to bodies, there is nothing x/ 
more in them than mind can account for. He can think of 
them, and think of them as sensibly perceived. A sensible 
perception is distinguished from other thoughts as being 
less clear, hence bodies cannot have more reality than 
mind. And note this ! all that is really known of body 
is simply thought, is known only as he thinks, not as he 
is sensitive. That the body yonder is wax he knows only 
by thinking about it. 

; Now is it the same with the remaining substance, God ? 
Here he finds a great difference, calling for special arguments. 
Read Meditations ///and F, not IV. 

He judges that he can explain body from himself: he can 
be the cause, even _eminently the cause..pf Ms idea of body. 
BuTof God he can have nojxleajromjb ?m sel F. He must find J ^ Ki 
proofs of God s existence to make sure of the clearness of 
his thought. Grouping together all that is scattered through 
Descartes works on this subject, we get as irreducible 
result three separate proofs put forward: (i) The onto-__ 
logical, metaphysical, or a priori proof^ viz. the existence of 
God is to be understood as given necessarily in the idea of 
GodT^ (2) The having m__my mind the idea of an infinite 
Being of which there is nothing in the finite nature of my mind 
tojblfthe cause. (3) The fact of my existing (not thinking), 
and existing as imperfect. This can only be explained 
ultimately by the existence of God as a perfect Being. (2) and 
(3) may be (allied a posteriori proofs, or, according to Kuno 
Fischej^_anthropological, being founded on a consideration _ 
not of the idea of God, but of the nature of man. 

Now Descartes finds in the two last proofs sufficient 
ground to work on in the Meditations, since he does not 
bring in the first in Book III, where he gets to his real 



252 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

certainty, but only in Book V. Here then it is secondary. 
But in the more dogmatic Prindpia it is put first. Again, 
in the second response to the objections (end of Meditations], 
where he sets out his system in geometrical form not that 
he held with this procedure, but merely to show, if he had 
chosen to do so, how he would have done it he begins with 
proof (i). And this in demonstration is right, just as Euclid 
set out at first that which he arrived at last \ 

In proof (2) he applies the principle of causality to the 
ideas of which we are conscious. It is a positive idea this 
of an infinite Being not the result of abstraction, which would 
give us the Indefinite, not the Infinite. It is there, and, 
causality being true in the light of nature 2 , it must be 
caused by a real infinite original. The idea of it is the mark 
of the artificer, and isj)escartes ideal innate idea. 

With regard to proof (i), compare the statement of it in 
the Prindpia ( xiv.) with that in Med. V Veitch, p. 148). 
absolutely perfect must exist, since existence is a 
perfection. To this in the Prindpia is added that God s 
existence is not only possible but absolutely necessary and 
eternal. Wherefore these additions ? To make his view more 
explicit, because he had been charged with merely dishing up 
a mediaeval argument which had been repudiated by Aquinas, 
on the ground that we have no right to infer from essence 
to existence. Descartes pointed out his own opinion as 
divergent from this in Objection I. The argument is as old 
as Anselm, in whose time little of Aristotle was known and 
the schools were thoroughly Platonic. It ran thus : God 

1 Veitch gives this exposition in an Appendix. 

2 Descartes uses light of nature (i) in a depreciating sense, as 
what is common every-day experience, (2) as the whole collection of 
fundamental intuitions in any human mind. 



xxm.] Elements of General Philosophy. 253 

is that than which nothing greater can be thought. But to 
be in intellect and in reality is greater than to be in intellect 
only ; therefore God cannot be thought not to be. Some 
Schoolmen, and especially Aquinas, saw the error of making 
an inference from a definition. A definition is hypothetical. 
Reality must either be postulated or proved otherwise. An- 
selm s argument should properly have been .//"God exists, 



He exists not only in intellect, but also in reality/ Kant^ 
in the Pure Reason, shows the insufficiency of the ontological 
proof, as he called it. The proof, he said, supposes real 
existence to be an attribute which enters into a concept 
with other attributes, in which case the comprehension 
of a notion should be changed according as existence is 
or is not supposed. But one hundred real dollars in thought 
do not contain an atom more than one hundred possible 
dollars. Existence does not enter analytically into the 
conception of a thing. \ But Descartes did draw a dis 
tinction in his answer to Caterus, namely, between notions. 
In some, e. g. triangles, centaurs, essence does not involve 
existence, even though he can picture them most clearly. 
The notion of God however does include existence, and 
not j)nlvjpossible but also necessary existence.. And accord 
ingly in the second edition of the Meditations he added the 
word necessary. Kant, by implication, does not allow for 
this distinction, in which lies the whole force of Descartes 
position. Whenever Descartes is pushed into a corner 
concerning this ontological proof, he always escapes on his 
fundamental argument that the idea (of God s existence) 
is one not so much of necessary existence as of necessary 
existence originally in me. Causality is for him at the 
bottom, and not the ontological proof, which usually fails to 
distinguish this between real existence and the conception 



254 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

of possible existence. / am imperfect, and / have this 
idea of God or of perfection. This of course is liable to the 
objection You have this idea of God; / have none. 
And since Descartes day speculation has (as with Kant) 
given place to moral argument, or the consciousness of 
moral sense. Descartes himself suggests that his arguments 
have at least a cumulative value. 

At all events he has got from doubt to certainty and 
a ground of universal knowledge. We have now to see 
what he means by truth and what is his (doctrine of error. 
Notice first the two positions in the Principia, Book I. 
In 30 the argument may be summarised thus : God exists, 
and because He alone is perfect. He alone is perfectly inde 
pendent ; therefore all things depend upon Him, and therefore 
my ideas depend upon Him. My ideas must therefore be 
true because He is true. Again, the faculty of knowing which 
He has given us never apprehends any object which is not 
true as far as it apprehends it, that is to say, as far as it 
knows clearly and distinctly. 

^.-t But in xiii and in Meditation V, p. 148, the criterion 
is taken as certain in itself. Where it is directly applied 
Descartes does not doubt its power. But he admits there 
are cases where we say that we know, although it is by no 
means present to us that we clearly see what we say that we 
know ; e. g. in the steps of a demonstration in Euclid, where 
we have possibly forgotten the first steps, forgotten, i. e. what 
we applied the criterion to, though we recollect we did apply it. 
God in this case guarantees the validity of our memory 
rather than that of the criterion itself. But if we know by 
the help of a perfect Being, how do we come to err ? 

Now turn to Med. IV.\ Error, he finds, is not in percep- 
lion, but in judgment, where, that is, we turn what we perceive 



XXIIL ] Elements of General Philosophy. 255 

into an objective predicate 1 . But we may judge and yet 
withhold assent. When we do assent (or refuse), we exercise 
will in the sense of self-determination. Now the under 
standing is from God and errs not, nor does self-determination, 
by the power of which we come nearest to God. But the 
understanding is limited, the will is not. And whenever the 
will by its liberty of indifference either affirms or denies 
beyond the limit of the understanding s insight, then there is 
error, even if the judgment is a right one ; and doubly so, if it 
is wrong. While if the will uses its liberty of indifference so 
as not to judge at all, we cannot err. That the will can refrain 
from judging renders God not chargeable for our errors. 

If then we know self, God, and how to avoid error, what J 
do we know beside, and how ? This brings Descartes to the / 
subject of bodies, or the external world. Read Med. VI. 
The existence of bodies cannot be concluded from the 
fact that we can imagine them. Imagination is not pure 
intellection or thought, as he explains later, but is a mode 
of our subjective life determined by the relation of mind to 
body. Being inferior to thought it may proceed from the 
thinking being. 

Nor can the existence of bodies be proved from sensations.j 
It is natural in us to refer the latter to outside "Bodies, 
but sensations themselves are no guarantee, as we know by 
the case, e. g. of an amputated arm, where some sensations 
are still referred to the lost limb, and by sensations affecting 
us in dreams, as in waking. Descartes arguments here 
are very modern but so also are Plato s in the The&tetus. 

But my sensations of objects must have a cause. I am not 

1 Compare Kant s distinction between judgments of perception 
(e.g. if the sun shines the stone is warm) and judgments of experience 
(the sun warms the stone^. 



256 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the cause. They result neither from my thought nor from 
my will. They must then be due to God as their cause 
eminenter, or conceivably to bodies as their czuseformaliter. 
Which ? To bodies, else I am perpetually deceived. 

Note the difference between Descartes and Berkeley. The 
latter leaves off with the view that God is the only certainty, 

* extirpating matter except as an idea coming from God. 

Jpescartes retained matter to exclude the charge of deception 

>n the part of God \ 

To understand how speculative philosophy took the turn 
it did after Descartes, compare his dogmatic statements in the 
Prindpia (Part II) on matter, viz. bodies_ exist apart from 
mind as the real cause of our perception, and the mind 
perceives them as lljuy an,, iii as fill 1 as it has clear and 
distinct knowledge. Mind, then, and body are alike sub 
stances, a substance being a thing that exists in such a way 
that it has no need but of itself for its existence. This is 
true of each substance with reference to other substances, 
yet obviously the determination cannot strictly hold for any 
finite mind or body, since all depend upon God. God 
therefore is the only true substance. Substance cannot be 
said univocally of God and of anything created. Here he 
seems to imply that we have immediate knowledge of 
substance, although he did not allow this in answering 
Hobbes. Mind and body, he had said, as substances 
f j essentially different and independent, were knovvable only by 
their attributes, each having one principal attribute expressing 

| its nature. Of these indefeasible attributes thought, extension 
all those modifications on the ground of which we speak 

1 In Hamilton s language he is a Hypothetical Realist, or, if an 
Idealist, then a Cosmothetic Idealist. However he strips bodies of 
all secondary qualities. 



xxiii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 257 

of substances having different qualities (not attributes) are 
by him called modes; sucnare figure (a mode of extension), 
imagination, feeling, willing (modes of thought) *. Modes > 
are not found in Infinite Substance, for that is unchangeable. 

In the Principia he proceeds to distinguish between 
attributes ag essential and modes as accidental. Other 
qualities ascribed by us to bodies are really modes of our 
thought, as Number, and especially Time, also the five 
universals or predicables 2 . Descartes was, in fact, no 
Realist in the old sense, but a Conceptualist or a Nomi 
nalist as opposed not to Conceptualism, but .to Realism. He 
comes here nearer to Kant. He held, it is true, that space 
was a mode_pf extension, something having objective reality, 
but time was a mode.- .of. -though t Kant would have said, of 
intuition, meaning of perception. 

The modes of extension depend upon the movement 
of the parts into which matter is divided. Matter, i.e. is 
conceived by Descartes mathematically ; there is ultimately 
nothing in it which cannot come under solid geometry, i All 
changes in body are merely modes of motion. Towards, 
this new conception other minds besides Descartes were 
working. Bacon had made out that heat consists in an 
agitation of the minute particles of bodies. Compare too 
Hobbes s groping after a doctrine of motion 3 . Locke took 
over Descartes distinction, and expressed it from his expe 
riential standpoint as the distinction between Primary and 
Secondary Qualities. 

1 Thought (pensee) in Descartes is simply a name for all subjective 
experience, for whatever we are conscious of. 

2 Genus, species, differentia, property, accident. 

3 Vide Hobbes by G. C. Robertson (Knight s Philosophical Classics), 
PP- 33, 41-43, 93- ED. 



LECTURE XXIV. 

ON THE PHILOSOPHY OF DESCARTES (continued]. 
READING. Meditation VI. Prindpia. Les Passions de I Ame (Simon) . 

WE pass lightly over Descartes physical philosophy (which 
occupies the greater part of the Prindpia], but so as to 
note how it comes into his general scheme of philosophy. 
Beginning with man as pure intellect, he went on to the ex 
istence of the material world, and grasping this, came round 
again to deal fully with man and the Passions of his nature. 

We saw that, according to Descartes, body is extended, and 
nothing else, just as mind is a thinking thing only. Without 
extension we have no idea of body, or only a confused idea. 
Extension has length, breadth, depth, and there are no 
more^ways- of thinking of it ; therefore body has these only. 

Descartes is at some pains to defend his position that 
body is space (Prindpia, II. 10-15), and it is interesting 
to note how he tries to show that there is nothing in his view 
at variance with ordinary notions. He further faces the 
question, which much occupied contemporary science, of 
condensation and rarefaction, and their action on the pores 
of bodies, trying to prove that a body remains the same, 
whether its pores expand or not. We see that he gets his 
notion of body by way of metaphysic, instead of positive 
science, and consequently has to defend himself against 
science. For instance, as space is essentially the mode of 



Elements of General Philosophy. 259 

body, vacuum, as space empty of all body, is philosophically 
impossible ; space cannot be free from all body. You may 
empty your bucket as you please, but you cannot empty 
space and therefore body till the sides collapse. What is 
nothing cannot have extension, and as space has extension, 
it always has body. And there never can be more or less 
body in space at one time than at another. Compare this 
treatment with Locke s on simple modes of space (Essay, 
ch. xiii). Locke s distinction between space and body is not 
got by way of metaphysic, but is accommodated to modern 
physics, and is a perfectly rational determination. We can 
distinguish between space which does not resist movement 
and space which does ; and this difference can be psycho 
logically grounded. His psychology is often crude, but here 
it stands firm. 

Again, physics still assumes that there are such things 
as atoms natural indivisible bodies. Nobody ever doubted 
that an atom, if extended, can be thought of as broken 
up, but that there are certain elements that can/ztf/ physically 
be broken up is the basis of physical science. Descartes 
meets this by saying that atoms cannot exist, for space 
as always extended must always be divisible. 

As to movement, Descartes laid stress on this, that it can 
be said only of a body with respect to what it is immediately 
in contact with. If a body does not change place with 
reference to what is around it, it can be said not to move. 
This, it may be, was said to justify his suppression of his own 
Galilean views in the Prindpia. The theory, which we will 
not pause over longer, is another instance of the futility 
of solving such questions by metaphysic. _ Descartes ends by ) 
findingjjiat movement was so different from extension_that_^ 
it must come from outside, from God, who created some 

S~2 



260 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

bodies having motion, others having the, for Descartes, no 
less positive mode of rest. And, it follows _from the un 
changeable nature of God that the quantity of motion and . 
rest is invariable for even He is not content to put his 
conservation of movement as a hypothesis to be verified 
by results, but gives it as a certainty from first principles. 
He does not admit conservation of energy, nay, he abhors it. 
It was Leibniz who insisted on that notion. Descartes gives 
three fundamental laws of nature, i. e. of motion. Coming 
shortly after Galileo had enunciated three laws, and a 
generation before Newton gave them their final form, they are 
interesting (Prin. II, 37-40). With the first two Newton 
practically agreed, but the third turned him from Descartes. 
His copy of the Principia at Cambridge bears the repeated 
marginal note error ! error ! error ! The law contains 
a denial of action and reaction in matter. Matter is the 
mere bearer of something communicated to it ; it can have 
no energy. 

In the second book, where he is determining different 
kinds of bodies, we come on his notion of fluid. Bodies 
are hard, i. e. resist separation, only in so far as they have 
rest in them. Bodies which do not resist separation, have 
not rest but motion, and are fluid. This determination 
is made with a view to his explanation of the phenomena 
of the universe. His physics is an explanation of the universe 
on a hydro-dynamic basis. Given bodies that don t move 
and fluids that do, it follows that all change must come from 
interaction of particles that have been in motion from 
the beginning with those that have been at rest from the 
beginning. The smallest addition of motion in any 
/direction is enough to set up vortices, that is, streams of 
motion by which bodies, the parts of which are not moved, 



xxiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 261 

may be borne along, going all through the universe. With 
this famous notion he goes on to attempt to set out a doctrine 
of the relation of the heavenly bodies, expressing all the 
results of the Copernican theory, yet so as not to run 
counter to the tenet of the Church that the earth stands 
still. Copernicus, in the face of Church doctrine, revived 
a notion started in the Greek period, but soon submerged. 
Then Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) accounted for the phenomena 
by the theory that the planets (not the earth) went round the 
sun, and the sun went round the earth. Descartes had 
a mind to be more careful than Copernicus, and to reason 
more truly than Brahe. His hypothesis is that the heavens 
as we behold them are fluid, that is, in motion. In them 
are streams, invisible through the rarefaction of matter, 
bearing the bodies along. The earth reposes in its heaven 
or vortex, while yet it is borne along with it. 

He may have been quite sincere in this. By his definition 
of motion, if the earth remains always in contact with the 
same particles of its stream, it is not moved, however much 
it may change its relations to the planets. At any rate his 
theory got all the benefit of motion round the sun without the 
blame. * I am much more circumspect than Copernicus/ he 
wrote. His hypothesis was accepted for some time, especially 
in France, but was dislodged by the Newtonian hypothesis 
of attraction. Not that physicists are even now agreed as 
to how action at a distance takes place. But when more 
accurate observations were made by Hooke and Newton s 
other predecessors, it was inevitably suggested to Newton, 
that action and reaction was a better hypothesis than bodies 
borne about in streams a theory due not to observation 
but to general reasoning. 

In the cosmogony too which follows (Prin. III. 47) 



262 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the whole conception misses its point for want of true 
scientific method. It is interesting as speculation, as poetry, 
but it is not science. 

We now come down to earth (Prin. IV). Materials and 
leisure did not suffice for him to write all he had schemed 
on Plants, Animals, Man (see Preface), hence he confines 
himself to objects as they affect our senses, leaving Plants 
out entirely, and dealing with Animals in the Passions, 
Book I, and in Part V of his earliest work on Method. 
Descartes experimented much in dissecting, but found 
nothing to modify his idea of animal, viz. that animals 
are simply material things more complex than the rest 
are only machines of a more complicated kind so complex 
indeed that we must call them automata, i. e. they have 
something within them that sets them moving. They are 
machines with hearts, the heart distilling the mechanical 
agent of vital spirits into the blood, and this bearing 
them to the pineal gland in the brain, on which all external 
impressions finally impinge, and from which all outward 
movement issues. Animal life is the expression of the com 
plexity of their mechanism. But animals have no self- 
consciousness and therefore no soul or mind ; for without 
self-consciousness there is no thinking. Whereas, whatever 
sense may be, man as man is thought. Descartes conceives 
no middle ground between thinking and extended being. 
Man is both. Animals are only the latter. 

Descartes followers rigidly applied this theory, even to 
the length of treating animals with barbarity. Even the 
gentle and holy Malebranche, on being remonstrated with 
for mercilessly belabouring a friendly dog. replied, You don t 
suppose it feels ? Vivisection was largely practised by them, 
and regarded with as much indifference as the breaking 



xxiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 263 

up of a stone. Nevertheless Descartes himself often said, 
it were better, in the interests of moral training, to treat 
animals as though they did feel. He had no doubt 
at all that animals were pure automata, but he was not 
oblivious of the difficulties besetting his theory. Animals 
might act like men and show mind to some extent, never 
theless there was nothing in their ways that could not be 
interpreted as the action of a fine machine. 

From animals to man the distance is great. Animals 
are only bodies ; man is fundamentally not body. He is 
in the first instance I myself/ knowing myself as mind 
and body; and if I acquire the conviction that there are 
other men, of them also it may be said they are mind and 
body. What then is the relation between these two ? What 
is the character of man as mind, and then as body ? 

Before Descartes had arrived in the Principia at his 
doctrine of nature he was disposed so to aggrandise the 
sphere of thinking as to regard all mental manifestations 
feeling, willing, imagination, and even sense as modes 
of thought. In the Regies (XII.) sense and imagination 
are names for nervous processes. At the same time he 
conceives a force, one with body, but yet spiritual, which 
acts and reacts upon them. He then goes on to include in 
that force itself sense, memory, imagination and thought 
proper all being pure intellect acting under certain con 
ditions. Yet again, he denies that memory is mental. If 
we do not remember our dream-consciousness, it is because 
memory, being bodily, is not able to rehearse the mental. 
Thought, for Descartes, implied an ever-present conscious- / 
ness of thinking. 

Life, for Descartes (cf. the beginning of the Passions), 
is not soul at a lower power, but is out of relation to it. 



264 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

It is an affair simply of body, explicable in terms of physics 
only not even of chemistry. Animals have life, but not 
soul (or _ mind) a conception which is not borne out by 
observation, nor now maintained except by the incautious. 
In succeeding generations this materialism with regard to 
life was extended to mind. Evolution is entirely and utterly 
outside Descartes. Angels and God have no body ; animals 
have no mind. Man alone has both mutually interrelated. 
How this can be when they have been pronounced mutually 
[exclusive and contradictory is a difficulty that does not 
I escape him. He attempts to explain, but the difficulties 
cause him sometimes to shift his ground. In the Meditations 
and Principia he finds that this mutual interrelation of body 
to mind makes sense and imagination inferior to pure 
thinking. In the Passions his procedure is different. He is 
fearful of bringing animals into too close a relation to man, 
if he allows sense and imagination to be modes of thinking 
involving relation to matter. Else it might be said, Animals 
have sense, and thus mind of a low sort. He does not deny 
sensations and appetites in animals ; they act as if they had 
these. But it is not sense-appetite or imagination either 
that he seeks to explain by reference -to any conjunction 
between mind and body, but a set of proper mental states 
which cannot be assigned to animals passive mental 
states/ namely, which he opposes to the simple actions 
of the soul. He does not abandon his view of imagination 
and the rest as modes of thought, but calls them, and also 
sensations and appetites, passions as regards the soul. It 
is not only to save the character of man that he lays stress 
on so-called passions ; he desires to consider emotions 
proper with an ethical purpose, of which he has said little 
elsewhere. He has also a more explicit statement to 




xxiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 

make of the conditions of mind s relation to body. Sense, 
imagination, &c., are what they are because of that relation. 
And in this work we find the expression, turned to such 
account by Leibniz, of confused and obscure perceptions, 
arising from the mutually discrepant functioning of soul and 
body. 

We come at length to the statement (Art. 30) that 
mind is united to all parts of the body conjointly, the 
latter being in a way, i. e. as organ, indivisible. Thus 
he is forced to allow, in the human body at least, more 
than mere extension. Yet, he proceeds (Art. 31), notwith 
standing this general connexion, therejs a certain part where / 
mind functions more particularly, and that is (not the heart J^ 
but)~lrie" J r5fain7ahd Tn that the on]jLaiLJI ot bilateral the 
pineal^gland. He had thus a sound idea of the importance / 
of the nervous system as few had before him. But here the / 
same difficulties meet him. For the pineal gland has two ^^. 
sides, has extension, while mind is unextended. He might 
justfas well have taken the whole brain or the whole body. 
The_j^and_(Art. 34) stands, between body and soul, and 
transmits changes both ways by way of the fine matter 
(aniinalsrjiritsj produced by the heart, transmitted by the 
nerves as through" tubes, and stored in the so-called ventricles 
of the^brain. The gjajndjcari_j)e moved in as many ways as 
there are changes produced in the body from without. It 
can also be divinely moved by the soul. And there he leaves 
it in the Passions. 

Now he had said nothing can move of itself. Motion 
is a constant quantity, and must be transmitted. How does V 
the immaterial soul move the extended gland ? If his reply 
to the fourth objection (Arnauld s) in the Meditations be 
referred to (Jules Simon s ed. p. 233), it will be seen that 



266 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the soul does not really set the body in motion, but can only 
direct (determiner] the motion of the vital spirits. This idea 
of a directive power is worthier, and has of late years been 
urged by physicists. In it he found a distinction between 
animals and men. A man s actions on being struck are 
characterised by a more varied range than a dog s, because 
of his power to direct the vital spirits. Consciousness cannot 
give us the means of creating movement, but it can give 
a different outcome. Descartes difficulties are really of his 
own making. The definition that he persists in giving 
of body and mind must entail perplexity as to their mutual 
relation ; and it is these definitions that made Geulincx, 
Malebranche, and Leibniz differ so widely from their master. 

Finally as to the * Passions, Descartes uses the word 
in a wider sense passions of mind as opposed to actions 
of mind, thought including of course both and in a narrower 
sense all sorts of perceptions or knowledges that do not 
arise through actions of the mind but are as the mind receives 
them. In other words, passions are all mental states except 
volitions. Of these there are three kinds. First and there 
seems here a contradiction some passions may arise from 
mind as the cause of the perceptions, as when we perceive 
that we will. He admits these are perhaps better called 
actions. Secondly, indirect affections, or sensations due to 
external bodies. Thirdly, direct affections, or appetites *. 

Thus he does not deny here that sensations and appetites, 
arising in the body, are of the mind, although he is more 
inclined to refer them all, as with animals, to the body. 
His judgment wavers. To him the emotions seemed, of 
all states due to the interaction of soul and body, far more 
impressive than imagination and sensation. Even when 
1 In Art. 23 he adds fortuitous representations. 



xxiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 267 

not excited by sense as, e. g. fear at sight of a tiger an 
emotion has a confusing disturbing effect on the purely 
mental life. It may be said, appetites are powerful dis 
turbers; but Descartes might have replied, they disturb 
us only as they rouse emotions that disturb us. And 
objects, he said, excite passions only by reason of the 
diverse ways in which they may hurt or profit us, or in 
general be important for us. It is only as objects can be 
thought of as beneficial or hurtful to the body that 
emotions can arise. Emotions, then, are the expression 
of a value for the individual. This is true and shows 
a sound grasp of the import of emotion. 

He also orders the emotions well and scientifically, as 
primitive (or general), and secondary (particular), although 
general considerations, both ethical and logical, are mixed 
up with his exposition. The primitive emotions are wonder, 
love, hate, desire, joy, sorrow, his definition of emotion being 
however applicable to only five. In his striking doctrine 
of Wonder, where he shows great psychological acumen, 
he really has hold of the same element as Professor 
Bain has in neutral feelings, or emotions of relativity, 
which no thorough scientific analysis can ignore. He means 
that there is a certain emotional condition that is neutral 
in the sense of not being hurtful or beneficial. And while 
he thus places Wonder first, he assigns a special ethical 
importance to it at the end of his treatise, as that emotion 
by which the freely willing mind is able to subdue the other 
passions, since it is subservient to tht emotionally neutral function 
of knowing. 

The other five fall into three groups. Love and hate 
are the simplest expression of the mind as regards pleasure 
and pain. The good = the loved ; the bad = the hated. 



268 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

They are one emotion in different relations. Desire is 
the phase where good and evil are in the future. Joy and 
sorrow are passions in the actual presence of good and 
evil ; and are dual like the former two. Why is Desire 
not dual? A man desiring has always hope and fear. 
Desire therefore is dual, but implicitly so. Wonder is not 
dual, for though it is a passion, it has no relation to good 
and evil, but arises simply from novelty. From these genera 
all other passions may be derived as specific or secondary. 

From his definition of mind as thought, and emotions 
or passions as states where pure thinking is affected by 
body, it follows that in order to clear thinking the emotions 
must be kept down ; nevertheless he well saw how much 
driving power there lies in passion properly directed. And 
of all the passions that one which makes for knowledge and 
may be made to support mind as thinking is wonder. The 
remedy for passion as disturbing mind is the free, voluntary 
activity of thought. To keep passions down, we must think 
clearly, know fully, under the guidance of wonder. Know 
ledge of the true value of things, of the true limits of 
our powers, of the unalterable laws of nature as it can be 
got by exciting wonder or curiosity, suffices to hold the other 
passions in subjection. The soul, by its power of thinking, 
can suppress one passion indirectly by dwelling on another. 
This is good psychology, whatever may be said of his 
physiology, namely, that the pineal gland diverts the course 
of the vital spirits. But, he held, this was a weak method ; 
the better way is to live with firm and determinate judgments 
touching good and evil as attained by clear thinking. 

Here his system properly ends, and it is in this connexion 
that he made the greatest advance on his predecessors in 
psychology. He was distinctly on the track of physiological 



xxiv.] Elements of General Philosophy. ,260 

psychology, though of course with deficient knowledge of the 
nervous system. 

As to the merits of his system generally, it may be said . \ 

(i) that in reach and all-comprehensiveness it stands perhaps v 
unique in the history of human thought. (2) Note the logical 
consequence of it, onward from the methodology, in which this 
is made the first requisite, to the most detailed applications 
of its general principles, and into the heroic efforts made 
to grapple with the difficulties which it hardly pretended 
to surmount. I do not mean that everything in the system 
follows with perfect consequence, but this is certainly aimed 
at, and there is never any shifting of particular consequences. 
(3) Mark also its originality, which is attested at every step, 
notwithstanding the fact "that in this or that point there had 
been ancient and scholastic anticipations (especially in 
Augustin) some of them striking of Descartes doctrine. 
It constituted an almost incredible advance upon Scholasti 
cism, especially in the apprehension or explanation of nature. 
And this may be claimed for it, even although it so often 
puts the material world out of sight when human mental 
conditions are considered. It put forward the sceptical | 
subjective point of view as against the authoritative, tradi-I 
tional and formal dicta of Scholasticism, constituting, by 
virtue of its personal starting-point, a philosophy which, if it 
cannot be considered satisfactory, never can lose its meaning 
as Scholasticism, with its abstract generalities about things! 
has done. 



LECTURE XXV. 



ON CARTESIANISM 



IT was in Holland and France, the land of his adoption 
and the land of his birth, that the effect of Descartes 
philosophy was at once decisive and immediate. There 
it was both actively opposed and actively propagated and 
developed, unlike its fate in England and Germany, England 
particularly, where it was received without enthusiasm, and 
in neither was immediately in England not at any time 
carried further. 

In Holland mere propagation (headed by Reneri and 
Regius) began to give place to transformation and develop 
ment through Claubergius (a German in Holland) and 
others, till by Arnold Geulincx, a convert to Calvinistic 
Protestantism, Occasionalism was put forth as the legitimate 
interpretation of the master s thought. Violent religious 
hostility, from the time of Voetius at Utrecht, on the part 
of the orthodox clergy, caused the Cartesians to draw to 
wards the dissenting theologians the Arminians, &c. 
with whom they were denounced as enemies, sometimes 
Jesuitical (!) enemies to the faith. 

In France the development of Cartesianism took place 
not in the Universities, which remained scholastic, and where 
(at least in Paris in 1671) it was formally proscribed, but 

1 Selected from the author s MSS. and from lectures delivered 
1880, 1886, and 1891. 



Elements of General Philosophy. 271 

among the religious orders. Opposed by the Jesuits whom 
Descartes had been so eager to gain, but who stood to 
the Schoolmen or to Gassendi until the new empirical 
philosophy arose, the system was accepted by the Jansenists 
of Port Royal, the fathers of the Oratory, and other con 
gregations. It was looked upon with favour by Fenelon, 
Bossuet, &c., propagated in private associations for science, 
and in society became a fashion. The most sympathetic 
critic and follower was Arnauld, whose criticisms Descartes 
treated with most respect. The most important was Nicole 
Malebranche, priest of the Oratory (founded by Descartes 
patron Cardinal Berulle, a free order for the advancement 
of theology). Malebranche was turned to the passionate 
study of philosophy by Descartes. 

The thinkers who thus succeeded Descartes may be called 
Cartesians, not only because they were stirred up by him 
to thought and to the discovery of a way out of the contra 
dictions in which he landed himself, but also because for 
all of them the refuge lies in the idea of the Infinite Sub 
stance, God. None of them are theological thinkers in 
the sense that the Schoolmen were. The starting-point 
with all is the human reason, and the goal is rational ex 
planation. But the way lies through the (rational) idea of 
the Deity. They are Theistic thinkers, and are ultimately 
Pantheistic, perforce if not voluntarily, for the whole Car 
tesian movement tends to Pantheism. 

Now Descartes philosophy in its result is properly ex 
pressed by Kuno Fischer as a double Dualism, viz. of 
substances opposed and constituted by the opposition: 
(i) of God (Infinite) and the World (finite), or all things 
created; (2) of Mind (thinking substance) and Body 
(extended substance). Descartes is seriously concerned to 



272 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

maintain that God exists apart from the world, and the 
world exists per se. And Mind, as part of the world, is, 
by its liability to err, and still more by its power to escape 
from error (free power of self-determination), regarded by 
him as having a substantial existence. Nevertheless by his 
own definition of substance, it is impossible for him to 
apply it univocally to God and anything created. Mind 
is dependent upon God for knowledge. Matter is entirely 
inert, and must be moved by God. And creatures are not 
only called into being by God, but need re-creating every 
moment. Existence is a continual creation. 

With regard to the other dualism, however strongly he 
maintained the absolute independence of mind and body, 
we saw him in difficulties through the testimony of facts 
to the existence of a relation between them. He wavers 
between calling this a substantial union or a unity of com 
position only. He wavers as to sense and imagination. His 
chief merit is his courage and honesty in uttering his diffi 
culties. His dualism he must be understood to maintain 
notwithstanding ; and the contradictions are so many incon 
sistent and wavering concessions to facts which he cannot 
shut his eyes to. Or if at times he is upon a way to 
surmount the difficulties by aggrandising the theistic element, 
it is at the expense of his dualism. 

The action of his school was determined by this position 
of the master, and had two courses open to it : 

i. To maintain the dualistic principles strictly as strictly 
at least as possible and by a definite line, instead of the 
master s wavering attitude, to explain away some, if not all, 
the difficulties, resigning if necessary the very idea of natural 
or philosophical explanation, the desire not to let go which 
was the occasion of his very hesitation and wavering. 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 273 

2. To maintain the dualistic principles only in such a form 
as that the difficulties cease to be in the same way real, 
i.e. to give a natural or philosophical explanation of the 
difficulties, but in so doing to resign the dualism. 

The first course is known as the theory of Occasionalism. 
The dualism of body and mind is strictly maintained ; that 
of God and the world as far as possible, since it is the 
divine (personal) agency that is explicitly and uniformly 
recurred to for the solution of the difficulty as between body 
and mind. Occasionalism, in short, surmounts the difficulty 
of interaction of body and mind at the expense of natural 
or philosophical explanation, and by overlooking the diffi 
culty between God and WoTlcl : uniformly at the expense 
of philosophical explanation; and if not by uniformly 
ignoring the difficulty between God and World, then with 
an explanation of this which tends towards the second course. 

Now the difficulty of Body and Mind is twofold : 

(a) There is no doubt according to Descartes about the 
substantiality of both. Bodies in no respect need minds 
for their existence, nor do minds need bodies. But bodies 
and minds undoubtedly appear to be related to each other 
in two obvious ways : mind is acted on through body, 
e.g. in sense; body is acted on by mind, e.g. in volition. 
Now how, if they are totally opposed substances, can mind 
move body, or body impress mind? Both Geulincx and 
Malebranche replied, by the action of the Deity upon occasion 
of the change in either, God alone being able to effect it. 
There is in reality no interaction between body and mind. 
By omnipotence God excites perception when he moves 
body. Hence it is not less wonderful for my tongue to 
move when I will to speak than that the globe should 
tremble. 



274 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

(b] But mind and body have a more special relation : 
mind knows body, body is known by mind. Then how 
can thinking substance know substance that does not think ? 
How, being itself non-extended, can it have even an idea 
of Extension ? Malebranche replied Plato had inspired the 
thought- by having a vision of Extension (as of all things) 
not only through but in God ; for God can possess the 
idea of Extension, and ideas are not only divine, but are 
not to be detached from the nature of God. It is not we 
who know, but God who knows through us *. 

The second course is Spinozism 2 . 

This retains the dualism of body and mind only as an 
opposition of attributes, instead of substances, while the 
dualism of God and World wholly vanishes. Deus sive 
Natura is one substance, of which Thought and Extension 
are alike attributes, and minds and things passing modes. 
God therefore as single and solitary substance thus was 
the theistic element in Descartes system which is theistic, 
if ever philosophy was developed in and by Spinoza 3 . 

Manifestly the two directions of thought here outlined 

1 Note that whereas Malebranche explained knowledge by God, 
Berkeley explained God s existence from his theory of knowledge. 

2 READING. Spinoza. By Principal Caird. (Knight s Philosophical 
Classics.) (Circumspect, exact, good generally, especially on the 
epistemology.) Spinoza. By Dr. Martineau. (Learned, eloquent, 
but too polemical for deepest insight.) Spinoza. By Sir F. Pollock. 
(Brilliant but inexact.) Kuno Fischer and Erdmann, in their histories 
of philosophy. 

Of the translations White s (Triibner) and Elwes s (Bohn series) 
are both very good, but should be read if possible with constant 
reference to the original (best edition, Vloten and Land, Hagae 
Comitum, 1892-3). 

3 In the Ethica Spinoza has attained to fully developed Monism ; in 
the Tradatus Brevis he is still a half-hearted Dualist. 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 275 

are both Cartesian. Spinoza, as little as Geulincx or Male- 
branche, would have thought as he did but for Descartes. 
The two lines of thought are not however equally Cartesian. 
It is one thing to take for a principle the Dualism that 
Descartes tried to reach consistently, though he could not, 
and seek a means (philosophical or not) of resting there. 
It is another thing to take for a principle the Monism or 
Pantheism that Descartes could not avoid falling into and 
(although with the help of a dualism of Thought and Extension) 
to work out into its utmost details a system antagonistic 
to Descartes . The difference is the difference between the 
action of disciples and the action of an original thinker 
who takes and hands on the torch in the philosophic race. 
That Spinoza, and not Geulincx or Malebranche, made a real 
advance, and the necessary advance in thought from the 
point to which Descartes had been carried, is clear from 
this, that neither of these two found it possible to save 
their master s Dualism, or to get out of the current that 
bore them towards Spinoza. If Spinoza himself succeeded 
as little in reaching a sure resting-place, that was not because 
his thought was not a distinct advance and a grand achieve 
ment, but because his principles, both his own and those 
he had from Descartes, were what they were. 

Let us now look more closely at the second course 
(Spinozism) in its relation to Descartes. 

It may seem strange to put forward Spinoza as the last 
great link in the Cartesian chain, seeing he began to philo 
sophise hardly later than Geulincx, and had worked out the 
greater part of his extraordinary system before Malebranche 
knew a line of Descartes writings. The last link he is, 
nevertheless, in respect of the logical import of his doctrine. 

T 2 



276 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Even historically also, if we go upon the date of the publica 
tion of their most important works, Malebranche precedes 
Spinoza. Though he lived forty years longer than the 
latter, and began to think later, his chief work Recherche de la 
Ve rite appeared three years before Spinoza s Ethica, and 
already in that work his involuntary Spinozism is clearly 
enough marked. The truth is, Malebranche drifted towards 
Spinoza before he knew of Spinoza s system, and when he 
did know it, spurned it and sought to steer away from it, 
he drifted as before. Malebranche s course was marked out 
for him in the principles he started from. So was Spinoza s. 
But the latter took it with such a will that he swiftly explored 
all that it led to explored and died while Malebranche still 
was young. Even the next great thinker, Leibniz, forced 
by Spinoza into a new track, had time to live and shape 
the thought of the eighteenth century, before Malebranche 
died. So much is Malebranche outside the main course 
of European thought so strongly did that current set from 
Descartes to Leibniz through Spinoza. 

Baruch (Benedict) de Spinoza (or Despinoza) was born 
at Amsterdam, in 1632, of a Jewish family, emigrants from 
Portugal directly, but probably of Spanish origin, which had 
emigrated on account of the Inquisition. His principal teacher 
was the famous Talmudist, Rabbi Morteira, a philosopher 
after the Jewish-Scholastic manner of Maimonides (1135- 
1204). In the translations of his works named above his 
biography is given 1 . Persecuted in his lifetime and an 
object of the fiercest hate long after his death, he has 
within the last century, through Jacobi, Goethe, Schleier- 
macher and others, had justice done to the singular purity 
and nobleness of his solitary life, and perhaps rather more 
1 The Bohn Translation dates his birth wrongly. 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 277 

than justice done to the philosophic value of his unique 
and imposing doctrine. 

The extent to which Cartesianism was the moulding 
influence on that doctrine is a point on which there has 
been much discussion. On the one hand, to Spinoza s 
devotees Dutch and Jewish investigators his work appears 
not only one of the most remarkable, but the most remark 
able achievement of the human mind. To them his philo 
sophy is the crowning result of philosophic thought never 
to be surpassed. Their ecstatic admiration would not allow 
that the accident of Descartes existence could have in 
fluenced him very greatly, and that he merely received the 
torch and handed it on to others. As if to atone for their 
forefathers ill-treatment of him, many Jews within the last 
twenty years are proud to claim the great thinker as one 
of themselves. Sir F. Pollock, on the other hand, and Kuno 
Fischer exaggerate the influence of Descartes, the former 
asserting, not without reason, that the view which minimises 
it springs out of an insufficient study of Descartes works 
in relation to those of Spinoza. The difference of view is 
due in part also to the different value attached to Spinoza s 
philosophy as a whole *. 

Dr. Joel and others 2 try to prove that Spinoza got his 
ideas not from Descartes but from his own people, especially 
from Maimonides and Crescas (fl. about 1400). 

Spinoza often mentions Maimonides, but not in the Ethica. 
Maimonides was the greatest Jewish thinker of the Middle 

1 The controversy may be followed best in Professor Sorley s 
excellent article Jewish Mediaeval Philosophy and Spinoza, Mind, 
1880. 

2 Cf. Professor K. Pearson s article, Maimonides and Spinoza, 
Mind, vi. 



278 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Ages. He did for the Jewish faith what was done by 
Arabian philosophers for Mohammedanism, and by School 
men like Aquinas for Christianity. Arabian, Jewish, and 
Christian thinkers were guided by the same principle, namely, 
that of rationalising religion, of harmonising it with philo 
sophy. We do find traces of Jewish habits of thought in 
Spinoza, but no ground for asserting that there is in him 
any idea which, being a Jew, he could not have got without 
Maimonides. 

Crescas headed the reaction against Maimonides, as 
William of Ockham did against Aquinas, holding that faith 
could not be rationalised, could not be expressed in terms 
of philosophy, but was there to be accepted intact. He 
denied the freedom of human will, affirming the necessity of 
human action. So did Spinoza, more than any one, unless 
we except Hobbes. But it is a long step to say that he 
got this from Crescas. I do not, I say, find anything in 
Spinoza which cannot be expressed by the fact that all 
three were Jews. 

Spinoza was an original thinker if ever there was one, 
but he would not have thought as. he did if Descartes 
had not thought before him. I do not deny the Jewish 
influence generally, but I hold that Spinoza is a logical 
development of Descartes. 

Again, I can say no more for the alleged influence on 
Spinoza of Giordano Bruno * ; there is no real ground for 
connecting them. But I do believe that Spinoza was far 
better informed in Christian Scholastic philosophy than is 
supposed. Spinoza s was no such wild-flower intellect. 
Modern philosophy, remember, was fighting its way into 
existence, and Scholastic philosophy, in resisting it, was 
1 Cf. Erdmann, II, 272, i. 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 279 

itself vigorously issuing new text-books. Do not assume 
that Scholasticism had perished by 1700; it then held all 
the Universities; all the Catholic Universities it still holds, 
and it has in our day experienced a vigorous effective revival. 

Spinoza certainly took up the problems that Descartes 
had left, and solved them to all intents and purposes in 
Cartesian terms, as he would not have done unless Descartes 
results and methods had been there. If however Spinoza 
ever was a Cartesian, he consciously broke away from 
Descartes and made his fame thereby. His first work which 
appeared in 1663, on Descartes Principia geometrically 
expounded, gave evidence at once of his dependence and 
his independence. But how far he was a Cartesian is best 
seen in the work of Arnauld, Geulincx, and Malebranche, 
who, professing themselves disciples of Descartes, and 
shrinking in horror from Spinoza s views, were hardly able 
to avoid coming to his conclusions. Spinoza ended by 
opposing Descartes, but he did so under Cartesian influence. 

The relation of Spinoza to Descartes, as far as concerns 
the special difficulties arising from the dualism of Thought 
and Extension, has been already indicated. The difficulty 
as between God and the World Spinoza gets rid of by 
giving up the world by denying to it any substantial 
character of its own, by making it, in all its variety, a mere 
mode of the Divine Existence, to which it never can assume 
an attitude of opposition. The difficulty as between Mind 
and Body he gets rid of by denying the substantial character 
of both, and allowing them only a modal opposition: 
Mind is not Body, an Idea is not an Extended thing; they 
are opposed so as that the one never can be the other; 
but they are not only opposed, for they are united and 
held together in their mutual opposition, being only modes 



280 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

passing modes of the one great Substance underlying 
them and all. Such opposition thus overcome means mutual 
correspondence, and here Spinoza must be called Occa- 
sionalist Occasionalist at least as to the bond between 
the mental mode and the bodily mode, if not as to the 
bond between links in the mental chain and between links 
in the bodily chain. But it is not the Occasionalism of 
Geulincx and Malebranche with the problem how do 
diverse substances come to be related ? and with the solu 
tion of a personal Deity intervening. The correspondence 
for Spinoza is Law of Nature, and his problem is Given 
one substance, whence comes all the variety in Nature ? 

Such is the special relation between Descartes and Spinoza, 
but this far from exhausts the connexion between the two, 
as might be said of Descartes and Geulincx or Malebranche. 
Spinoza is so much the greater figure than either of them 
that the connexion is more worthy of being established. 
And he so distinctly by his originality stands between the 
next great figure, Leibniz, and Descartes, that his own 
dependence upon the inaugurator of modern speculation 
requires to be more fully set forth. 

I find it in three particulars: (i) in the prominence 
given to the notion of Substance, (2) in the idea of mathe 
matical method to be applied to philosophy, and (3) in the 
: exclusion of Final Causes from human science. All three 
\ particulars are characteristic elements of Descartes thought, 
i In Spinoza s they are derived from Descartes; only they 
. are so transformed by the original power of the man that 
they come to be more strictly characteristic of his own. 

(i) Whoso places this notion of Substance in the front 
of his thought stamps its character once and finally. He 
is a speculative Dogmatist. He speculates upon and with 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 281 

the knowledge he has, instead of making it his first object, 
with Locke and others of the psychological school, to inquire 
how he came by that knowledge. He dogmatises upon 
things within and beyond experience with a perfect con 
fidence in the ability of the human mind, instead of making 
it his first object, with Kant and the Critical school, and 
with the psychological school again, to inquire into the 
limits and the scope of the mind s power. Such a specu 
lative Dogmatist was Descartes. But Spinoza was doubly 
so. Descartes, though he quickly enough dogmatised, had at 
least his preliminary doubt. Spinoza had none. Descartes, 
though he speculated freely enough as to the hidden nature 
of things, at least tried to recognise what he found, and 
fell into his inconsistencies because he would labour to 
reconcile undoubted facts and natural experience with his 
speculation. Spinoza speculated with a perfect disregard 
of natural experience, and, because he would not stoop 
to any such accommodation, appears less inconsistent with 
himself. 

The pantheistic element in Descartes thought, viz. the 
tendency to conceive the notion of substance in the truest 
sense as being only One, and the naturalistic element, viz. 
the tendency to conceive the One Substance or God as 
Order of Nature, were brought together and set in the 
front of Spinoza s thought as the mother-idea of it all. 
For this his thought must, as I have said, be regarded as 
the necessary logical development of the Cartesian system, 
as the last word that can and must be said about the 
universe upon Cartesian principles. And the rigid manner 
of the development, the spirit of philosophic calm in which 
that last word is uttered, are such are, in spite of all 
criticism, which touches the conception far more than the 



282 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

execution, such that Spinoza s philosophy remains as yet, 
and is likely to remain, the very type of a Naturalistic 
Pantheism. 

Spinoza also inherits from Descartes the notions of 
attribute and mode/ 

Now, for Spinoza, mode gets into a direct relation with 
substance, as it does not for Descartes. For the latter 
modes are not things, while for the former they are the 
only explanation of res particulares, being the way in which 
the one substance expresses itself. Mode in Descartes is 
attribute specialised in a certain way, and is understood 
quite apart from the question of substantiality. That he 
had settled at the beginning by positing infinite substance 
and finite substance. Spinoza could not quite so easily 
accept Descartes compromise. The business of philosophy 
being to account for our experience, i.e. for particular 
things, and Spinoza having undertaken to do so by Monism, 
he had to eliminate from c mode the notion of substantiality. 
No less has he to account for attributes/ such as thought, 
extension, &c. How far he has consistently fitted both 
terms into his system is a much controverted point 1 . To 
me it seems that he is not without inconsistencies to answer 
for in his usage of the terms, going, in language at least, 
straight from substance to mode (cf. Elh. I. Def. iv. and 
Props, iv. 2 and vi. Proof), and yet no less referring modes 
to attributes (cf. I. Prop. xxv. Cor.) His inconsistencies 
show (i) that he had not quite made up his mind in this 

1 See especially Martineau s Spinoza and Kuno Fischer s and 
Erdmann s Histories of Philosophy on this point. The lecturer (in 
1891) entered in detail into the controversy, but space prevents me 
from reproducing. ED. 

2 Do not take Spinoza too strictly here in his use of substance in 
the plural. 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 283 

connexion, (ii) that he felt the difficulties entailed by holding 
on to Descartes while being determined to arrive at a 
different conclusion, (iii) that he felt the difficulties inherent 
in Substantialism difficulties which, in becoming by a later 
age fully realised, have altered the position of philosophy 
concerning that which was the ultimate viciousness in the 
attitude of the age. 

(2) The method of mathematics is not the only speculative 
method in philosophy, but it is a speculative method. A 
thinker may reject it, like Hegel for his dialectic method, 
and still be intensely speculative, but the thinker must 
also be intensely speculative who accepts it; for the use 
of it commits him to the assertion that resort to specific 
experience is as unnecessary in metaphysics as in mathe 
matics, that the most general truth about the nature of 
all things is already as well ascertainedj or as ascertainable 
and ready to be formulated and fit to be applied in new 
cases, as the most general truth about number and form. 
A bold assertion ! It was however a very common assertion 
in the seventeenth century, and one that men might be 
excused for at least desiring to be able to make. The 
certainty of mathematical truth, which Schoolmen had con 
cerned themselves so little about, and the uncertainty of 
philosophical truth, which Schoolmen had been working 
at for centuries, could not fail to appear in somewhat dis 
agreeable contrast, and the contrast in turn to excite bound 
less hopes if the method that led to uncertainty and dispute 
might be changed for the method that ended in certitude 
and unanimity. That the contrast should particularly strike 
and excite a born mathematical genius like Descartes the 
first great mathematician since the Arabians was only 
natural. It led him to what we know and have seen: 



284 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

the method of science is one, and is to be drawn and 
generalised from mathematics; is deductive from certain 
and fixed principles ; passes from causes to effects ; dis 
plays a must-be of things ; works so certainly from principles 
so large that the only difficulty is in selecting from among 
the infinity of possible effects those that correspond with 
the actual things and facts of this poor universe. Descartes 
has all this, and it is not little ; but his mathematic is 
implicit ; he does not go farther not even in his systematic 
work to evolve the results from his principles in regular 
geometrical form (except when expressly challenged in the 
Objections ). That was left to Spinoza. Definitions, 
Axioms, Theorems, Lemmas, Corollaries Spinoza adopts 
the whole machinery adopts or tries to adopt, and believes 
he sustains the whole responsibility of it. Descartes practical 
departure from mathematical method and the abrupt collapse 
of his project in the Regies (never, though he had plenty 
of time, resumed), are explicable from his very mathematical 
power, or at least from his tact or common sense ; he saw 
that the thing could not in fact, or should not, be done. 
Spinoza was kept back from attempt and achievement by 
no such superiority of scientific ability. And as an inferior 
mathematician he was pedantic in his use of the method. 
Leibniz, the next great mathematician and philosopher after 
Descartes, found fault after fault in Spinoza. 

Spinoza however was so thoroughly a Dogmatist that 
he could not but work by this method. Kant rightly dis 
cerned that the dogmatist cannot proceed in philosophy 
by any other method ! . With him, as with the mathe- 

1 V . Kritik of Pure Reason (Max M tiller s translation), pp. 610-633: 
On the Discipline of Pure Reason in the Sphere of Dogmatism. 
Students were emphatically referred to this passage. ED. 



xxv.] Elements of General Philosophy. 285 

matician, first notions are given, not sought. The essence 
of Dogmatism is to be prepared from the first with an 
equation between thought and reality. If the day comes 
when we do discern the riddle of the universe and there 
is nothing more to know, then the method of setting it 
forth will be the mathematical method of philosophy. But 
I venture to predict that its matter and conclusions will be 
very different from Spinoza s. For us, working where we 
now stand, I have nothing but the strongest disapproval of 
the use of mathematics in philosophy. 

For consider: how is it that in geometry we are able 
to proceed from fixed principles to propositions that are 
necessary? Because we are here dealing with matter that 
we make, control, constitute. But this does not make the 
method valid in regard to nature. If it is applicable and 
in so far as it is applicable to nature, it is because all our 
sensations are, more or less, ordered in space. If then 
we can make out anything with regard to space, we can 
apply it to nature generally. 

We perceive space by activity put forth. We make 
space in the knowing of it. We know it in the making 
of it. If this is the proper explanation of the mathematical 
method, the only question to be asked is ; are we in philo 
sophy occupied in the same way ? Philosophy is the ultimate 
interpretation of experience. Is experience something that 
we make in the way that we make space ? 

Now experience is not something that we simply receive. 
It is in a manner, as Kant taught, a construction of ours. 
Our thoughts about things are our mental activity func 
tioning in various ways. But there is a difference. Activity 
is involved in thinking, and therefore in experience. But 
there is also an element in experience that is given. That 



286 Elements of General Philosophy. 

element may be greater or less, but experience is in any 
case reproductive and representative. We have to wait for 
what comes to us before we can know. In metaphysic 
therefore, as in physical science, definitions are statements of 
results arrived at, and not principles proceeded from. Our 
metaphysical notions cause, substance, &c. continually 
change as mathematical notions do not. And our notions 
of substance have changed since Spinoza. Hence he has 
not, as he implies, solved the riddle of the universe for all 
time. He meant to be strict, honest, exact, but he attempts 
the impossible. His work is a model of what can and of 
what can7z<?/ be done on these lines. 



LECTURE XXVI. 

ON CARTESIANISM (continued). 

(3) FROM the mathematical method, adopted by Descartes 
and his followers in the peculiar scientific conditions of the 
time, the exclusion of so-called Final Causes of Aims or 
Ends necessarily followed. A Schoolman, more theologian 
than philosopher, may read all great things in the world 
according to some religious idea of a divine purpose, and 
in his ignorance of natural causes may pretend to a science 
of smaller things in vain general statements about the ends 
that things serve. A thinker like Aristotle, casting the first 
scientific glance over the multiplicity of nature, may less 
vainly eke out his explanation in such a way ; or labouring 
to comprehend in magnificent, if premature abstraction the 
first principles of being, may credit nature with an immanent 
re Xor, or End, of which all motion and mutation is the slow 
accomplishment. A thinker like Kant, seeing nothing in the 
realm of nature but a vast complex of phenomena linked each 
to each by the iron chains of cause and effect forged within 
the mind, may look beyond to a region of supra-sensible 
noiimena, and conceive it as a Realm of Ends to get free 
play for that power of self-determination in moral beings 
which he will not resign. 

But in proportion as any thinker takes the mathematical 
analogy and follows it out consistently in the whole field 



288 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

of knowledge, or of assumption, he must submerge the 
teleological view. It is not as the means to any end that 
the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles ; 
the triangle, we say, makes them so (and makes them so 
with a causation which anybody might call universal and 
necessary), but no purpose is served, no aim thereby pro 
moted. This Descartes did not fail to see, and the idea 
guided much of his scientific action, guiding it well in 
physics away from the emptiness of Scholastic explanation. 
Spinoza saw it, and the idea guided his every thought as it 
never guided the thought of mortal man before or since. 

The point is so important, so specially significant, as to 
require a more particular handling. Descartes rejection of 
final causes is but partial compared with Spinoza s. It lies 
to hand to connect this with his less rigid employment of 
the deductive (geometrical) method. The main idea of the 
method Descartes doubtless has, but, beginning his meta 
physics with a datum of the mature consciousness, and 
evolving from it and with it whatever it will give, he cannot 
be said to apply the method with any strictness at the first 
stage of his speculation. This he does rather in his Physics 
only. With his metaphysical notion of Body or Matter as 
extended and nothing more, and his assumption that all 
mutation, real or phenomenal, is mechanical, he does then 
rigidly enough proceed to construct and explain from fixed 
principles. Now it is precisely at this stage that he makes 
exclusion of final causes 1 , and the exclusion, while it con 
stitutes his advance upon those who went before, struck 
a right note for those who came after him in the history 
of science. But while the exclusion is limited for, as we 
know, it is not by him extended in any sense to the greater 
1 Read Prinripia, iii. 1-3. 



XXVL] Elements of General Philosophy. 289 

world of mind, every mind according to him being absolutely 
self-determinant, and thought not being bound by a law 
of cause and effect it is at the same time put upon grounds 
that betray a manifest unsteadiness of vision. Not because 
final causes would be unwarrantably foisted in by the mind 
upon a scene of mere mechanical action and reaction (as 
even Kant who accepts them elsewhere declared), but only 
because it is too great presumption for a human mind to 
measure the universe by human needs, or try to fathom the 
purposes of the Deity, does Descartes enter his protest 
against a teleological physics. That is a view, no doubt, but 
not the view (still less favourable to final causes), that 
depends upon the adoption of a peculiar method in philo 
sophy. If we will see the method strictly adopted, and with 
singleness of mind carried out to its last conclusion in the 
direction we are now considering, we must look beyond 
Descartes to Spinoza. 

Spinoza clearly is held back by no mental preoccupation 
from following wheresoever his method of philosophical in 
quiry leads him. If God and Nature to him are one, and if 
Nature is best exhibited as a system in which from the core 
outwards everything is as it cannot but be, he will not, like 
a Schoolman, embark on the search for divine ends, or, 
like Descartes, draw back from the search only because it is 
too high for man 1 . Nor, like Descartes again, can he allow 
any such difference between Mind and Body as would require 
the assumption of a different scientific procedure. Mind 
and Body are for him perfectly distinct. Not Descartes with 
his two opposed substances could draw the dividing line 
more strictly and hold it more unfailingly than does Spinoza, 
with his opposed attributes of Thought and Extension, pre- 
1 Read Ethica, i. Appendix. 
U 



290 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

serving their opposition into the most transient mode of 
each. But, opposed as they are, they, at every stage, high 
and low, are in correspondence. No mode of Thought 
without its parallel mode of Extension ; no fact of body 
unaccompanied by some mode of thought (Eth. iii. 2. Schol.) ; 
and where there are two chains, in which link answers to 
link, although they are two, the links of the one for itself 
hold as rigidly together as the links of the other, because 
each is a chain. Thoughts in nature being thus not less 
bound together and mutually conditioned amongst themselves 
than are things, the necessities of science are in each case 
alike. A body in motion moves another, and the law of 
the movement, not the end or object of it, is the physical 
science of the case. A thought begets a thought, and 
not any free initiative of a mind creating its own purpose 
should be assumed, but the law of the production is all 
that should be sought. 

Now Descartes, where he negatives Final Causes, namely, 
in his physical science, puts forward Efficient Causes ; and 
this constitutes the great merit of it. Everywhere indeed in 
his philosophy, metaphysical as well as physical, this notion 
of Cause, meaning Efficient Cause, stands forward; and to 
him it is greatly due that in modern times we have so far 
left behind that vague Aristotelian notion of Cause, covering 
the four principles of things: Material, Formal, Efficient 
or Movent, and Final as to have come to associate the 
notion exclusively with the Efficient principle ; and this not 
only in all science, but even in philosophical discussions 
about Causation (where, as in Hume, Hamilton, &c., the 
question is as to there being any potency and virtus, 
or only mere antecedents of a certain kind, in the cause 
which is efficient). The notion of Efficient Cause, embodied 



xxvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 291 

in the Ex nihilo, &c., is what carries Descartes, at his meta 
physical stage, over the otherwise impassable gulf fixed by 
himself between his self-consciousness and objective reality ; 
and his whole physical philosophy consists in nothing else 
but the attempt to show that everything in nature results 
from mechanical interaction of bodies bodies in their 
character of being extended, taking and giving amongst 
themselves the unchanging quantum of movement once com 
municated to them by the Creator. So that, notwithstanding 
his references to mathematical method and the deductive 
cast of his intellect, Descartes philosophical explanation is 
seldom a mere manipulation and explication of notions and 
abstract principles assumed. 

But such it ought to be, if the full responsibility of the 
method is accepted ; and such Spinoza aims at being. 

For, as to the first point, it should be remarked, beyond 
what has already been said, that Final Causes are not more 
excluded from mathematical truth than is the notion of 
Efficient Causation. When, to use the former example, the 
triangle is said to make its angles equal to two right angles, 
it makes them in any properly causative sense as little as 
it makes them for any end or purpose. Even those who 
recognise a necessity of connexion between cause and effect 
will not, if like Kant they are wise, confound it with necessity 
of implication. The equality of the angles to two right 
angles follows from triangular nature quite otherwise than 
it follows that a body if let go will fall to the ground. What 
is contained in a notion follows from the notion, and comes 
within the mind s ken in one way ; a thing that is caused in 
nature by another thing follows upon this, and is apprehended 
by the mind as following, in another way. A system of 
philosophy, if conceived and worked out on mathematical 

U 2 



292 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

principles, will deal in notional connexions, not in causal 
relations. But if this could ever be said of a philosophic 
system, it is to be said of Spinoza s. 

Let me not be misunderstood. Spinoza speaks often 
enough of cause, and even has the phrase causa efficient ; 
but where he speaks of efficient cause : Deum omnium 
rerum esse causam efficientem (Eth. I. 16) it is made 
clear that the efficiency is only inclusion in the definition, 
conclusion from the definition and, immediately afterwards 
(I. 1 8), that the cause is immanent and in no sense transient; 
whilst in speaking of cause simply, he either, if it is of modes, 
means it in a sense not ultimate, or when the sense is ultimate, 
means precisely this implication of all in the idea of the one 
Substance. 

For Spinoza is pre-eminently the demonstrative thinker. 
He believes, if ever man did, and far more than Descartes 
ever did, that he has grasped the inner secret of the universe 
and can lay bare in the orderly evolution of thought the 
meaning of all that is. The demonstration he himself 
supposes to rest upon a few truths perfectly self-evident 
at least when he sets them forth, for no man before him 
had the same insight into them and to be the most irre 
fragable, clear, and final exposition of the whole system 
of things. Another might say that the principles upon 
which the demonstration is supposed to rest are neither 
truths nor at all self-evident, but only a rash, though striking 
abstraction from experience, and that the demonstration 
itself halts and is insufficient, or at the best is eked out by 
sidelong glances at the actual. But demonstration, and 
strict demonstration, is nevertheless what Spinoza aims at 
and believes he has achieved. 

Here then we touch the true difference between Descartes 



XXVL] Elements of General Philosophy. 293 

and Spinoza, and can apprehend the speculative stride taken 
by the younger thinker. It is not only that where the one 
gets rid of final causes in physical science, and upon grounds 
that may be called theological, the other bans them utterly 
from the universe upon the ground of strict philosophical 
principle, but it is that whereas Descartes deduces and 
constructs with a principle of Efficient Causation, Spinoza 
rejects, or tends to reject, also the notion of Efficient Cause, 
and, with perfect consistency, resolves, or fain would resolve, 
everything upon a principle of Necessity of Implication. 

A word finally on Spinoza s psychology and epistemology. 
The latter is a very remarkable doctrine and very closely 
interwoven with his psychology and his metaphysic of mind 
and body, but always with an explicit ethical object (Eth. II. 
Pref.) In Parts I and II of the Ethica he is laying the 
foundations and preparing the materials for his doctrine of 
how man may be ethically perfect. 

Special note should be taken of the seventh proposition, 
Part II 1 a metaphysical assertion on which all his psycho 
logical observation is based. It is the first explicit utterance 
of the later doctrine of Parallelism. This is now always 
purely phenomenal in assertion 2 , serving the purposes of 
psychological science without prejudicing ultimate hypotheses, 
being held by Dualists no less than by Monists of to-day. 
The doctrine of the latter both in its phenomenal and meta 
physical aspects has great affinity with that of Spinoza, but 
has been got at differently, viz. by induction. The common 
result has brought Spinoza into vogue, so much so that 

1 The order and connexion of ideas is the same as the order and 
connexion of things. 

2 Thus: With every psychosis is concomitant a neurosis. 
(Elements of Psychology, Lect. VI.) ED. 



294 Elements of General Philosophy, [LECT. 

younger students need to be reminded that it is only lately 
he has been seriously considered as a thinker. Spinoza 
starts as a dogmatic metaphysician, thinking that by his 
definition of substance he can account for mind and body as 
they appear. In the end he practically abandons his first 
position and writes as a Phenomenalist. Law of Nature 
replaces Substance. Phenomenalism has got up to where he 
came down. His dogmatic Substantialism is overlooked. 

There was nothing new in Spinoza s Parallelism. Aristotle 
was a Parallelist, dogmatic also in his procedure. Descartes 
and the Occasionalists are so also. Leibniz in his Monadism 
was a Parallelist. My emphasis is due to the attitude of 
modern Parallelists, who write as if they were first in the field 
even inventing the term Automatism or at most connecting 
themselves with Descartes only. Everything modern on 
body and mind is in Spinoza in principle, and is also much 
more clearly thought out than it is by many, his detail 
being often remarkable, e. g. when dealing with Perception, 
Conception, Memory, &c. Hence Spinoza is in the front 
and will remain there. 

No part of him should be more studied than the latter half 
of Part II giving his epistemology . Nor should Part III be 
slurred over, with its psycho-physical doctrine, systematic 
beyond anything of the kind previously attempted. Note (i) 
in the definition of emotion how the subjective and the bodily 
side are both brought forward, and (ii) that the forty- 
eight definitions are, as in all natural science, statements 
of results. Note also (iii) the distinction between active 
emotions and passions, these being a measure, an indication 
of human bondage, i. e. of mind as limited, as confused in its 

1 Note especially Prop. XL. Note II, containing his expression of 
thorough-going Realism (Platonic) and of Nominalism. 



xxvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 295 

representations (Props. 58, 59). By connecting affect and 
self-consciousness with activity 1 , he prepares the way for his 
solution of the ethical question in Part V, where he trans 
forms the notion of knowledge into emotion. Before our 
knowledge is effective for purposes of life it must be touched 
with emotion. Morality for Spinoza is knowledge emotion 
ally transformed. Thus while he begins as a bare formalist, 
he ends by being a rapt mystic. Through the stiff crust 
of his form he palpitates with intense emotion if not with 
passion. 

Leibmz. 

In such a system as Spinoza s there was so much to shock 
the prevailing ideas and feelings of men, that those who were 
least opposed to the philosophic method of it were driven 
by its results to seek other principles for their speculation ; 
and if Spinoza s principles could be shown as following 
from Descartes , then other principles than Descartes . With 
that, however, there was an end to the direct Cartesian in 
fluence, an end to the Cartesian school. Though the next 
thinker might represent the same general direction of 
thought, though he certainly was stirred up to think by the 
Cartesian ideas, the conditions had become so much changed 
that we have in him a new philosophical era. This era is 
associated with the name of Leibniz. 

To understand all that went to the making of Leibniz s 

1 The emotions are shown by Spinoza (III. Props. 59, 57 and 6) as 
making for self-conservation. In the more general statement (Prop. 6) 
he gives things an individuality, a vis of their own, which is not 
as if they were mere shadowy modes. This hangs together with 
his theory of motus et quies (II. 13, Axioms", which is interesting 
as coming between Descartes Extension and the modern dynamic 
conception of things. 



296 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

thought is no easy matter. He was a man that united in 
himself so much, in fact both ancient and Scholastic thought, 
while he stood in conscious opposition to the thought both 
of Bacon and Locke. Here I am mainly concerned with 
his relation to Spinoza and Descartes. 

Leibniz s doctrine of substance was expounded in con 
scious opposition to Spinoza s, but was not arrived at in 
mere immediate revulsion from the latter, but as if Leibniz 
had had to pass through the stage of Spinoza s doctrine, in 
support or in opposition, before he could arrive at his own 
view. Rather, of himself Leibniz was able to see that 
Descartes philosophy did indeed lead to conclusions such 
as those that Spinoza rested in 1 , and without Spinoza was 
moved to reject them and set up new principles instead. 
But doubtless he was confirmed in his course as he came to 
know Spinoza s works. 

Like both Descartes and Spinoza a speculative dogmatist, 
like both he put forward as the central idea of his philosophy 
a conception of substance, but a conception different from 
either of theirs. Struck out in ultimate revulsion from 
Spinoza s unity of substance, it was other than that con 
ception of Descartes in which there lay wrapt up Spinoza s. 
Leibniz saw that the individual, or particular substance 
sacrificed wholly by Spinoza, or emerging at the end of his 
system in spite of his principles that individual substances, 
for that is the point, must on philosophical or other grounds 
be conceded; and that, for this, substance must be con- 

1 Cf. Theoctice e, Pt. III. Qu on prenne garde qu en confondant 
les substances avec les accidents en otant 1 action aux substances 
creees on ne tombe dans le spinosisme, qui est un cartesianisme 
outre. Ce qui n agit point ne merite point le nom de substance, 
&c. (Euvres, ed. Paul Janet, t. i, p. 393. 



XXVL] Elements of General Philosophy. 297 

ceived so as not, with Descartes, to render particular 
substances in the last resort impossible. The new philo 
sophical era, then, is Individualistic, instead of Pantheistic. 

Leibniz is no less dogmatic than Descartes and Spinoza 
in assuming thought to be fully representative of reality. 
But he went beyond Descartes Dualism and Spinoza s 
Monism in his Monadology, positing a multiplex gradation 
of substances, each a monad simple, unextended, with 
active force for its essence. He starts however in his 
philosophy, first and last, from the fact of Body. The 
explanation of this, or what is required for its explanation, 
leads him on to all the rest 1 . More, he was, among meta 
physicians, the first who makes an approach to compre 
hension of the vast complexity of nature. But Body, he 
held, must be thought as Force. And Force, as an indivisible 
and so immaterial, simple, original being, must be thought 
as Substance. Force-substance is ever active, and, being 
the source of its own activity, is a self-active being, individual 
or monad. But with self-action goes self-distinction 
absolute difference and thus there is an absolute multi 
plicity of monads. The essence of an individual consists in 
self-formed peculiarity, which could not be except in its 
being distinguished from other peculiar beings. 

Every monad, then, is a singular substance, an individual 
force, and therefore at once limited and independent, passive 
force and active force. That is to say, all substances save one 
are not, with Leibniz, as with Descartes and the Occasionalists, 

1 Cf. e. g. Le corps est un agrege de substances, et ce n est pas 
une substance a proprement parler. II faut, par consequent, que 
partout dans le corps il se trouve des substances indivisibles. Lettre 
a Arnauld (1690). Et il faut qu il y ait des substances simples, 
puisqu il y a des composees. Monadol. 2 (1714). 



298 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

devoid of true independence, powerless, passive: they are inde 
pendent, active, instinct with power. They are not, in their 
dependence, either merely extended or merely thinking : 
their independence, one and all, consists in their being each 
a Force each a force for itself, one among many, each not 
another, simple and indivisible, a monad. 

How should there not be substances many, and each 
indivisible, when there are substances composite like bodies ? 
How should the character of substance not consist in being 
Force, when bodies are not lifeless extension, but quivering 
with inherent energies, and when minds are forces likewise ? 
Passive force is the principle of matter, active force the 
principle of form. Passive force manifests itself as body, 
active force manifests itself as soul. But soul and body 
(Form and Matter) are conceived to be the two forces 
making the nature of every body. Every monad is therefore 
an animated body. Every body is a mechanical, and every 
soul a living, being; and thus every animated body is 
a living machine. In the machine there are only motive or 
mechanical forces j the vital powers are formative and 
work towards an end. Every living machine is therefore 
a body moved according to ends, or a system of purposive 
motions. 

Since then bodies work mechanically according to Effi 
cient Causation, and souls work vitally according to Final 
Causation, Leibniz, in the conception of the monad, unites the 
two principles of Causality and Teleology which had divided all 
previous systems. For final causes are related to efficient 
causes as purposive to mechanical force, as life to machine 
(mechanism), as soul to body, soul and body being not 
different beings but the two primordial forces of every monad. 
Now as soul and body make a natural unity or individual, 



xxvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 299 

there are not two distinct worlds of souls and bodies, but one 
universe, and for the explanation of that universe the teleo- 
logical and mechanical principles must be combined. But 
they are not for Leibniz combined as in Spinoza s ordo 
idearum idem est ac ordo rerum, which rested upon an 
assumption of causality as being the same in thought and in 
extension, and which reduced the difference of these in the 
unity of substance. Soul proceeds Ideologically only, body 
mechanically only; but soul, for its own ends, also infolds 
body. 

Soul and body, then, though both original moments in 
the monad, are not on equal footing : they remain as active 
and passive force : they are as end and means. Unlike 
works of human art, however, there is in them no separation 
between end and means 1 . 

This conception of force is in harmony with the increase 
of physical knowledge at the end of the century. Leibniz 
as much as Newton had got an idea of matter as not barely 
extended, with so much movement put into it, as Descartes 
had said. He saw the necessity of transforming the con 
cept of matter from the philosophical point of view just 
when Newton was seeing that it was necessary to do so from 
the point of view of positive science. 

How an aggregate of simple unextended substances 
becomes phenomenally extended, Leibniz explains from the 
confused perception of the percipient monad or mind. 
While human minds are self-active monads, bodies are 
each a multiplicity of monads in reality, only appearing 
as continuous and extended to the mind through the 

1 Les machines de la nature, c est-a-dire les corps vivants, sont 
encore machines dans leurs moindres parties jusqu a 1 infini. 
Monadol. 64. 



300 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

confusion of sense. All living monads have inner states, 
which in some are developed as perceptions, representations, 
but these are of different degrees of clearness in different 
monads. Perceptions are clear when their objects are 
marked off from others ; distinct, when the parts of the 
objects can be distinguished ; adequate, when this distinctness 
extends to the absolutely simple elements of the objects. 
Human soul differs, for example, from animal soul not only 
in dominating over a body more highly organised, but also, 
and this more, in having distinct perceptions, distinguishable 
from one another and from the mind itself; in fact, in having 
reflective consciousness, and being to itself what the other 
monads are to the eye that observes them. By this reflec 
tive activity the individual becomes Person, Self, Ego ; the 
creature becomes a member of the moral world ; soul becomes 
mind; representation or perception becomes apperception, 
thought, knowledge ; appetite becomes will. 

There is however no cleft between perception in animals 
and in men. 

The perceptions of the monad in part clear are in all the 
rest confused. Now action/ Leibniz said in the Monadologie, 
is ascribed to the monad in as far as it has distinct percep 
tions, and passion in as far as it has confused perceptions 
( 49)- Thus for Leibniz the unconscious or sub-conscious, 
infinitely small or obscure perceptions out of which con 
sciousness arises, establish a harmony between the material 
and the moral world the kingdom of Nature and that 
1 of Grace for by conceiving monads as perceptive forces 
the elements of the material world are spiritualised ; and on 
the other hand by its obscure perceptions the mind is 
connected with the material world. Thus the two are 
continuous. 



xxvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 301 

This obscure side of the soul, moreover (like the passive 
moment in the human soul-monad), is the ground of all 
individuality what Leibniz calls the je ne S9ais quoi - 
whereby each is naturally determined to a special line. 

The monad by virtue of its perceptive power is microcosm \ 
but each monad, as individual, reflects the universe from its 
individual point of view, most clearly those parts in closest 
relation with it. Being thus limited, its representation of the 
All is necessarily confused. All things being microcosms, 
there follow three laws making the order of the universe : 
the laws of Analogy, of Continuity, of Harmony. Are all 
beings microcosms or representations of the same universe, 
they must be analogous. Are they analogous, they must 
also be different, gradually different, forming an ascending 
series of beings. Is there an endless plenum of microcosms, 
there must be a difference at an infinite number of stages; 
the gradual differences must be infinitely small, and the 
gradation of things be perfect or continuous. 

And thus the monads must form a steady succession 
of homogeneous substances ; they must therefore exhibit 
the greatest variety amid the greatest uniformity, and so 
form a harmonious world-order ; God, the original monad, 
with perfectly adequate perceptions, and all other monads as 
effulgurations of his nature. Amongst such we distinguish 
(a) spirits or thinking monads, like men, able to have clear and 
distinct perceptions, some of them even adequate, and to 
have consciousness of self and of God ; (&) animals, or 
monads having sense and memory ; (c) plants and minerals, 
sleeping monads with unconscious perceptions, these being 

1 Perceptio nihil aliud . . . quam multorum in uno expressio 
(Ep. 2 ad De Bosses) ; and again : Perceptio nihil aliud est quam 
ilia ipsa repraesentatio variationis externae in interna. 



302 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

vital forces in plants. To the human mind the order of 
monads appears in sense as the order of things in time and 
space. 

The flow of perceptions in each monad depends upon 
an internal immanent causality ; monads, in Leibniz s phrase, 
having no windows at which to take in from without. The 
change in the relations of monads, on the other hand, their 
movement, junction and separation, rest on merely mechanical 
causality. Between this flow of perceptions or internal states 
and these movements there subsists a pre-established harmony, 
pre-established by God. In man, body and soul corre 
spond as two clocks of the same rate of speed, set together. 
This system of pre-established harmony, referring all things 
ultimately to the Deity, requires a moral explanation of 
the world from God as its source. But then God also must 
be justified out of the order of things ; hence Leibniz s choice 
of the word Theodicy, a word he first used in a letter to 
Magliabecchi in 1697. 

In conclusion we may briefly summarise the position 
of Leibniz in relation to other thinkers, ancient and modern. 
Agreeing with Spinoza and Descartes that the nature of 
things is to be expressed by a conception of substance, 
he is against Spinoza in conceiving substance as self-active 
force, stirring not in a single being, but in an endless number 
of substances ; and against Descartes in conceiving substance 
as self-active force, not as in two kinds of substance, but 
alike in all things. Thus as against them both, he is for 
homogeneous atoms with the Atomists. But he takes his atoms, 
against Atomists ancient and modern, not as bodies, but as 
forces, as eternal forms, substantial forms/ Here he agrees 
with the Schoolmen and the Greeks, especially with Plato. 
Nevertheless he is against Plato and with Aristotle in con- 



xxvi.] Elements of General Philosophy. 303 

ceiving his forms not as ideal, general types, but as natural 
forces, independent individuals, each an entelechy. 

If we call upon fancy for help to get the fitting schemata 
to underlie the purely logical complex, and think that in the 
whole world there is nothing else but merely simple, constant, 
unchangeable, substantial, subjective, force-exerting, self- 
acting, representative entelechies or monads, with varying 
intensity of activity these numberless entelechies or monads 
placed in pre-established harmony with each other by a 
Monad of monads, so that every monad, in spite of its 
inability to be really influenced by the others, yet constantly 
represents to itself with more or less distinctness the activities 
of all other monads and harmonises with this to one common 
end : we shall truly conceive the universe according to 
Leibniz. 



LECTURE XXVII. 

ON KANT S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY \ 

READING. The Kritik of Pure Reason (transl. by Max Muller or by 
J. P. Mahaffy), and The Prolegomena (transl. by J. P. Mahaffy). 
London : Macmillan. 

I. Kanfs Importance in the Present State of English Thought. 

KANT thought more deeply than any man in his generation 
the last of the eighteenth century and for a time reigned 
supreme over the intellect of his own country, so that there 
all thinking in the following generation was coloured by, and 
even had shape from, that which his had been. 

The like has not seldom happened in the history of human 
thought. Is then our interest in the nature of his opinions 
merely historic ? There are great philosophic names, later 
as well as earlier, of whom that would have to be said, but it 
cannot be said of Kant. His is a power that has survived, 
or, if it ever died, it has had its resurrection. That it lives 
and works is manifest whether we look abroad, or watch 
what is stirring in our midst at home. In Germany, all 
through the great period of scientific work which has 

1 Selected from a course of four lectures delivered at the Royal 
Institution, January, February, 1874. 



Elements of General Philosophy. 305 

supervened on that time of speculative fever in the early 
years of this century, unparalleled in the history of any age 
or country, nothing is more remarkable than the sway of 
Kantian ideas over the minds of the true leaders from 
Johannes Miiller to Helmholtz. It is not that such men 
have been in any sense professed followers of the philosopher 
Helmholtz especially, in those excursions into the philo 
sophical region by which he has signalised himself among 
men of science, as often as not crosses swords with the great 
thinker who himself was a man of science but they have 
seen and avowed that here was one whose thought could 
grasp the principles of scientific inquiry and even forecast 
some of its issues. Such efforts too as those later years have 
brought forth to think out a philosophic conception of things 
in the light of new positive knowledge have borne a reference 
to the sober work of Kant, with relatively little regard to 
the more daring pretensions of his philosophical successors. 
Earlier thinkers are allowed importance according as they 
lead up to him, and he hardly any other is held to have 
found a sure footing among shifting sands. 

In France to speak of France with a single word in 
passing the influence of Cousin after long wavering came 
at least to be exerted in favour of a doctrine which is only 
a modification of Kant s, while a thinker so different as Comte 
also became in time not insensible to his power. And at the 
present day a school of active thinkers is firmly organised 
who pay their first allegiance to the founder of Critical 
Philosophy. 

In our own country an interest in Kant is one of the most 
striking features of the philosophical movement now in full 
course. How this has come to be a few indications must 
suffice. As early as 1794 a young German, Nitsch by name, 



3o6 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

began to lecture in London upon the new system of thought 
then at the height of its repute in the land of its origin, and 
he seems to have found for a time not a few hearers. Before 
the end of the century also more than one statement appeared 
in print of the main principles of Kant s philosophy, and 
some of his minor works even were translated. Small, 
however, must have been the impression made when young 
Thomas Brown, himself destined to do some work in philo 
sophy, could have the face to draw entirely from a French 
exposition the matter for his boyish ridicule expended on the 
great thinker in the second number of the Edinburgh Review. 
Not mirth but helpless bewilderment was begotten in the mind 
of Dugald Stewart, the philosophical light of the day, when 
a little later he tried to gain a notion from one quarter or 
another of the new portent in the sphere of thought. It was 
only outside the professional circle that any real knowledge 
of Kant could then be found. Among the pupils of Nitsch 
was one, Thomas Wirgman by name, who spent years in the 
study of Kant at the original sources, and then laboured by 
every device of exposition to unfold the pure doctrine to his 
countrymen. In Wilkes s Encyclopaedia Londinemis one of 
the many universal repositories of knowledge provided for 
that age there appeared in the years from 1813 to 1823 
some very long articles by Wirgman, which left unexplored 
little of all Kant s work that has even yet become known to 
English readers. The ardent man as good as translated 
whole works of the master whom he worshipped, distilled 
the whole Critical Philosophy into short sayings, set it out in 
parti-coloured diagrams, defended it often with telling point, 
taught it and made it quite plain (so he avers) even to his 
boys. It was all in vain. Oblivion covered him and his 
labours, and it was left for others of greater name to 



xxvii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 307 

bring forward Kant far less thoroughly to a later and more 
open-minded generation. Sir William Hamilton did some 
thing, and his follower Dr. Mansel did something more. 
Dr. Whewell also laid hold of some of Kant s conceptions 
and turned them to good account in the interpretation of 
the historic growth of the sciences. Gradually, by various 
channels, certain main principles and results of the system 
became familiar to the English mind, and began to challenge 
the attention of the inquirers working on steadily in the old 
English vein of positive psychological research. Kant s 
chief work, the Kritik of Pure Reason, and the greater part 
of his ethical writings meanwhile had found translators ; and 
now the last few years have seen the efforts of a knot of 
workers in Trinity College, Dublin, to expound the Kantian 
doctrine in a coherent form and set it over in opposition to 
the latest developments of home-grown thought. The efforts 
of these workers, chief among them Mr. MahafFy, are worthy 
of all praise, despite some traces of a disposition to assume 
that now for the first time anywhere Kant has got his chance 
of true interpretation. However that may be, Mr. MahafTy is 
laying English readers under a permanent debt of gratitude. 
There will never, I fear, be any acknowledgement of poor 
Wirgman s due. 

Now there is one reason, or rather there are two reasons, 
easily understood, for the importance of Kant at the present 
time for his unique importance in comparison with any of 
the thinkers, earlier or later, who are commonly classed with 
him as speculative philosophers. Kant is not a speculative 
philosopher, however it may be common to class him ; and 
he is a philosopher who, whatever the province he claimed 
for philosophy, left, nay vindicated, to the positive sciences 
a domain of their own, whence they cannot be dislodged. 

X 2 



308 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

Supposing him at the same time a thinker of unsurpassed 
reach and power, nothing else seems wanted to explain his 
pre-eminence in an age devoted above all to the pursuit of 
scientific inquiry. 

There were philosophers before Kant who took up that 
attitude towards the sciences English philosophers chiefly, 
with Bacon as their forerunner. Locke, the first who 
made systematic inquiry as to the possibilities and limits 
of human knowledge, tracking it from its sources, found, 
as his main result, a justification of the mode of research 
then being practised by one whom he calls the incomparable 
Mr. Newton. Berkeley was not an idealist who would hear 
nothing of experimental investigation of nature : he under 
stood and approved of it thoroughly in principle, however 
much he wished the common scientific conception of nature 
to be supplemented by a philosophic view. Nor was Hume 
such a sceptic that he derided he rather lauded and spurred 
on to positive inquiry on the basis of experience. By the 
side of these, however, there were in Europe, from about 
the middle of the seventeenth century, or a little earlier, 
thinkers of a different cast ; whose philosophy was no sober 
inquiry into the conditions of human knowledge joined to 
the practice or recommendation of experimental research, 
but a succession of bold attempts to reason out the All 
modern only in the conception that external nature, instead 
of being shut out of view, as in the thought of the Middle Age, 
was brought expressly and even predominantly within the 
sweep of the speculative effort. Nor is any abatement to be 
made from this description because Descartes, the first of 
these thinkers, and Leibniz, his intellectual peer, did much to 
perfect the mathematical instruments necessary for carrying 
farther the scientific investigation of nature. They neither 



xxvii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 309 

practised nor enjoined at least not consistently the method 
of inquiry common to Galileo and Newton. In their view 
the various positive sciences, beginning to rear their heads 
by the side of philosophy, had no legitimate standing. There 
was nothing to be known that could not be rationally evolved 
from within the mind, or what could not thus be reasoned out 
was of no importance. Not indeed that this was expressly 
declared, but the speculative philosophers worked on as if 
it were so. Facts of experience were made no subject of 
systematic concern, and drew notice only when they seemed, 
on the whole rather unexpectedly than otherwise, to lend 
a kind of confirmation to the grand theory. 

But if the three last centuries are a new intellectual era 
in the history of the human mind, because philosophy has 
reverted and not least through the efforts of these thinkers 
to its original and proper function of carrying disinterested 
inquiry, high and low, near and far, to the uttermost limit of 
human conceiving, they are a new era not less in that, in 
the way of positive science, inquiry has started from the 
solid ground of experience, and, however free its flight, has 
always come back again to rest upon the solid ground. 
The natural sciences have grown up, and are indefinitely 
growing, as a legitimate and fruitful system of search into 
the different aspects or departments of nature proceeding 
upon experience and having no higher object than to explain 
and control experience. Thereby is altered the position of 
philosophy. Though philosophy may have continued to be 
the rational guide and director of human conduct, and may 
claim to retain hold upon fields where positive inquiry has 
not been able to gain a footing, it has to reckon with rivals 
upon what was once an undisputed part of its domain. The 
rivals have established themselves on their chosen ground by 



310 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

accomplishing what philosophy tried but failed to accomplish 
there, and, so far as that ground is concerned, the changed 
position of philosophy is that it retains the function only of 
understanding and prescribing the general limits of what the 
sciences may there attempt. This was what the English 
thinkers saw and kept always in view in their philosophy, 
each in his own way. It was what Descartes and the other 
speculative philosophers did not see or would not allow. As 
we judge now, the English thinkers better understood the 
task which their age required of them. Kant likewise under 
stood it, and thus is for ever to be distinguished from the 
school or schools of speculative metaphysicians. He is one 
of those philosophical inquirers who make no pretence of 
stemming the resistless tide of scientific research whose 
thought is rather bent towards guiding it into effective 
channels. 

Regarded as a mental philosopher, however, there is 
a side of Kant on which he holds with the Rationalists (as 
they may be called), and takes ground against the English 
thinkers ; whence his own claim, and also his repute, to have 
united the different streams of thought that were before him 
in a doctrine embodying all the truth of either. The English 
thinkers sought to explain all knowledge as developed out of 
particular experiences, and it was from this point of view that 
they could so easily make allowance for natural science by 
the side of their philosophy ; this being but an application to 
the general question of human knowledge of the same habit 
of thought or method of inquiry exercised in the upcoming 
sciences. Kant on the other hand denied that knowledge, 
as actually had, could ever be developed from such experi 
ences as the English inquirers adduced, and made it a great 
part of all his philosophic task to explain from the native 



XXVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 311 

constitution of the mind how experience, truly so to be 
called, could come to pass. Nor can it be doubted that 
in the execution of that task he displayed a depth of insight 
and width of intellectual grasp never before shown ; so that, 
man for man, he must be pronounced a far greater thinker 
than any of his English predecessors. It only does not 
therefore follow that he was on the right track, and they were 
on the wrong. There have been thinkers hardly inferior to 
himself, upon some lines perhaps superior, who were on 
a wrong track, when he was on the right. A cause is after 
all something greater than any of its upholders greater, that 
is, than their particular conceptions of it. It is so in the 
sciences, which take to themselves the best results that all 
workers bring, and often are advanced by inferior men when 
greater ones have strayed. One thing at least is certain, that 
Kant, in as far as he sided with the Rationalists, claimed 
a finality for his philosophical position which did exclude the 
notion of farther inquiry as touching that. And in view of 
the course of human thought in modern days, before or since 
Kant, that is a claim that must be regarded with some 
suspicion. 

For it is possible to look upon the course of modern 
thought as one long struggle waged between the rival 
principles of inquiry, for which there are no more expressive 
names than Reason and Experience a struggle in which the 
cause of Experience evidently makes way, though Reason 
does not retire except to renew the encounter from fresh 
positions, and Experience does not advance except by multi 
plying its forces and ever reorganising them in face of the 
adversary. As regards the investigation of nature we have 
already remarked that science, instead of reasoning out from 
within how things could or should be, as of old, now 



312 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

seeks to interpret the universe simply as found its parts 
in the light of one another. But it should be added that 
positive investigation, in advancing to occupy ever new fields, 
has not thus broadened its scope without also acquiring 
depth. There has been forced upon it the necessity of 
satisfying, as far as may be, that instinct of coherent vision 
which prompted the earlier speculative efforts ; and the word 
Experience to a scientific mind has come to have a signifi 
cance which it needs an education to understand. Similar 
is the result, or tendency, visible in the progress of the 
attempt to account for the fact or facts of human knowledge. 
That is the central question which philosophy at all times 
has had to consider, and it is the question which modern 
philosophy, as differing from the sciences, claims specially 
for its own. It is so expressly in Locke and in Kant ; it is 
so implicitly in the other thinkers who disregard or disavow 
the restriction. In Descartes theory of knowledge specu 
lative Reason has the form of pure intellectualism ; to him 
sense-experience is sheer and incurable delusion, while truth 
and certainty appertain only to knowledge that is supposed 
born with or innate to the mind. It is a naive conception, 
and facing it, in like manner, Experience stands at first in 
the form of the crude sensationalism of Hobbes crude and 
hardly making pretence to afford a full explanation. Comes 
Locke, however, with his systematic inquiry into the origin 
and limits of knowledge, and the philosophical standard of 
Experience is definitively raised : it is proclaimed that all 
knowledge originally comes by the way of experience in the 
individual, and that by a reference to the sources of psycho 
logical experience the import of aught claiming to be 
knowledge must be judged. On the other side, Leibniz 
abandons the Cartesian position, and it is with a very much 



XXVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 313 

deeper conception of knowledge as the development of poten 
tialities lying in mind, or, again, as the interpretation of 
experience according to native mental predispositions, that 
he sallies forth by way of Reason to explain the All. 
Confidently his disciples, Wolff the chief, build up a huge 
dogmatic system out of his large ideas ; the while Berkeley 
and Hume push farther along the line of positive inquiry 
opened by Locke, and find a derivation in psychological 
experience for much reckoned hitherto simple in conscious 
ness. At the same time there is in both, as compared with 
Locke, a deepened sense of the limitation put upon know 
ledge by experience, whatever different expression it has in 
each ; Berkeley rejoicing to be able thus to annihilate the 
bugbear of unintelligent matter with all its soul-debasing 
influences, while Hume finds his pleasure in calmly pricking 
the bubbles blown by the vanity of human reason. 

What neither seriously attempts beyond Locke is to find 
a full and systematic explanation of human knowledge and 
science as existing in fact. This is the task reserved for 
Kant. As little disposed as they to make light of experience, 
and more than they concerned to justify the standing of modern 
science, he is with them the sworn foe of metaphysical 
speculation. No innate ideas, ousting experience, as for 
Descartes no predeterminations to think, making experience 
superfluous, as for Leibniz can for him explain the facts of 
real objective knowledge. But neither can he accept the 
position of the English Experientialists, working without 
system where they are in the right vein, and without discern 
ment of the true issues to be met. Hence his new manner 
of inquiry, named Critical, into the foundations of human 
knowledge, resulting in the detection of a variety of rational 
elements or conditions to be necessarily assumed as prior 



314 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

to experience, and with the complement of experience 
by no means without experience making real knowledge 
possible. 

It looks like the reconciliation of all differences which it is 
meant for. But is there an end of conflict Reason satisfied 
with such a justification or excuse for its old pretensions, 
Experience contented with this frank and decisive recognition 
of its claim to be considered ? By no means. After Kant, 
in Germany speculation returns to the onset with a vehemence 
never known before, and in the end sinks exhausted rather 
than is overcome. In England the cause of Experience finds 
new upholders, who bend their energies in good earnest to 
the development of a theory of scientific evidence, also to the 
pursuit of psychological research as the only positive founda 
tion for a philosophy a philosophy not to be thought of as 
other than progressive while psychology in relation with the 
sciences generally makes progress. And in such a sense, the 
principle of Experience, more or less profoundly conceived, 
does in fact at the present time dominate the field of 
philosophic thought, not here only but also in the land 
of Kant. 

Will it continue dominant? And what then of Kant? 
Experientialism, amongst ourselves, has made its last great 
advance with so little reference to the import of Kant s 
doctrine as a whole, that its real conflict, where it is at 
variance with that, may be said to be still to come. Perhaps 
it is not altogether a matter of regret that the English philo 
sophical inquirers of this century I exclude those of the 
younger generation now rising up have not gone to school, 
as they might have done, under Kant. Working upon the 
line of the old tradition of English thought, they have done 
their best with their own principle of inquiry, and the result 



XXVIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 315 

is there to be judged. Nor is it a result, in one or other of 
the present or newly-departed leaders on the field of thought, 
to be lightly spoken of. In logical theory and psychological 
science it is not to be denied that English inquirers of the 
last two generations have made signal progress : the fame of 
their work is spread abroad. Addressing themselves, without 
special regard to Kant, to the questions concerning human 
knowledge which the philosopher has to consider, they have 
sought an experiential solution of difficulties which made him 
desert their position, after he had been in it. Their solution 
has found a large measure of acceptance, falling in as it does 
with the general scientific tendency of the time, and Kant s 
solution of such questions, as, for instance, the necessary 
character of mathematical truth, physical causation and the 
like, has been set aside, when not neglected. But nothing 
strikes the attentive reader of Kant more than his anticipation, 
already then, of the kind of solution which Experientialism 
would give, and has in fact given. One sees that he did not 
forsake the experiential position without a very hard struggle 
to remain there, and that he did forsake it only because of 
the impossibility, as he ultimately deemed, of explaining from 
it the actual facts of human knowledge. Now that he did 
right to abandon it, I do not say; the progress of inquiry 
since then has done much to justify the faith of those who 
have clung to the position. But we may be sure they were 
no common difficulties that urged him to enter upon the 
thorny path of his critical inquiry: and the full force of these 
difficulties has still to be apprehended within the English 
school. Nay, I venture to think that until the dominant 
Experientialism, even as transformed in the system of 
Mr. Spencer, has come face to face with Kant s doctrine, 
not at this point or at that, but at all points, and has stood 



3i 6 Elements of General Philosophy. 

the encounter, it has not secured its future. Kant s Critical 
Philosophy, if it did nothing else, raised deeper, yet at the 
same time more determinate, questions than any philosophy 
before, and though his own way of answer be not final, the 
questions abide. It concerns English thought at the present 
day to mark them well, and that is the reason of Kant s 
special importance now 



LECTURE XXVIII. 

ON KANT S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY (continued], 
II. General View of the Kritik and the Prolegomena. 

THE Kritik of Pure Reason, in the shape that it finally 
received from Kant, dates from the year 1787. It first saw 
the light in 1781, after those eleven years of close and 
sustained thinking that supervened in his life upon the long 
period during which he slowly grasped the issues of other 
men s thoughts, and came at last to conceive the idea of an 
inquiry to be driven down deep beneath them all. The 
second edition of the Kritik, appearing in 1787, was con 
siderably changed from the first changed in the expression, 
Kant himself declares, at important points to make his 
thoughts clearer ; changed in the conception, others declare, 
to make it less abhorrent to the prejudices of the vulgar. 
It is easier to repel the insinuation than to allow the improve 
ment. However well-meant, the change in expression clouds 
the sense not seldom instead of clearing. What is called the 
change in conception, while it can in no case have sprung 
from the baseness of compromise in one of the most fearless 
of thinkers, is no more than an effort, only partially successful, 
towards a greater consistency than was possible, or at least 
was attained, in the first execution of so stupendous a work. 

At all events the position in which Kant rested from 1787 



318 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

was already taken in 1783. Two years after the appearance 
of the Kritik, when it was beginning to draw public notice, 
but hardly yet had been grasped in its full scope by any 
readers, while it was grievously misapprehended by some, 
Kant wrote a short and simpler treatise to bring out the main 
principles and results of his investigation, without the elaborate 
system of its supports. The Prolegomena to any Future 
Metaphysic, very serviceable as an introduction to the severity 
of the method of the Kritik, is conceived in the same key as 
the second edition of the latter. 

The Kritik contains the systematic exposition of Kant s 
thought, so widely conceived, so laboriously worked out. 
When his mind, in full maturity, originated the great purpose, 
part of it seemed to be achieved as with a spring, but it was 
by no means so with the whole, and the years as they passed 
saw him groping about for a path and baffled long before he 
found one. The traces of the internal struggle, wherever it 
was severe, are only too apparent in the exposition, though 
this was far from designed. Kant did not write out his work 
till he had succeeded in thinking it out the mere writing out 
took, it is said, but five months after so many years of mental 
effort and the greater difficulty in the exposition at some 
places represented in his own view only the greater complexity 
of subject there. For it was a system of philosophical thought 
fully and equally developed in all its parts, and no mere 
essay towards a philosophical view, that Kant put forward 
in the Kritik of Pure Reason. Nor was it less a systematic 
whole, because it did not attempt over again the task of past 
metaphysical systems because it even stopped short of the 
soberer positive doctrine which it held out in prospect as the 
true substitute for these. The inventory of all our posses 
sions through pure Reason, systematically disposed such 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 319 

is Kant s own description of his work. A mere inventory, 
and not the rational possessions themselves ; yet withal one 
systematic and complete. 

Reason : it dealt with knowing the mind s faculty of 
knowledge ; not with Being, as dogmatic metaphysic had 
done. 

Pure Reason : it dealt with knowledge as dependent only 
on the mind, or with faculty before and apart from all 
experience ; not with the variety of the sources or channels 
of experience, as Locke s inquiry had done. Kritik of Pure 
Reason : it was an exhaustively reasoned search for the 
conditions of such knowledge, which, well or ill grounded, 
could not, Kant held, be denied in fact ; not an exercise of 
dialectical ingenuity, irregularly pursued and bent to mere 
negation, as Hume s scrutiny had been. 

Finding, then, in the result, the general cognitive faculty 
to be twofold a faculty of Sense and a faculty of Thought 
and that each had fixed and native conditions of exercise, 
Kant made a corresponding division of his systematic work, 
and set forth, with full detail of grounds arid consequences, 
the doctrine of Sense and doctrine of Thought thus critically 
evolved. This doctrine he called Transcendental because 
treating of the conditions of knowledge prior to experience. 

The subsidiary work, the Prolegomena, is cast in quite 
a different mould. It is not so much that it is short, and 
summary where the Kritik is elaborate to painfulness, and 
that in particular it does not exhibit the most characteristic 
side of Kant his determination to slur over no difficulties in 
his path but rather that it has, by the side of the Kritik, 
the distinctive character of disclosing the route by which he 
began to work down to that resolution of the problem of 
knowledge in general which the systematic work gives in full. 



320 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

As Kant himself technically expresses the difference, the 
Prolegomena proceeds analytically while the Kritik is syn 
thetic ; and though the resolution in the one case is far from 
being as exhaustively pursued as is the composition in the 
other, the insight, nevertheless, given into the working of his 
mind cannot be too highly valued. The Prolegomena shows 
us the very questions that broke Kant s rest till he found 
answers for them, and, if it does not give the complete 
answers as they may be extracted from the Krilik, it gives in 
each case what he is most disposed to lay stress upon. 

We have seen what was the school of dogmatic meta- 
physic in which Kant had his philosophical nurture. Wolffs 
system of metaphysic began with a general doctrine of pure 
Being, or Ontology, and then broke up into three parts 
dealing with the special kinds of being, namely, World or 
Cosmos, Soul, God. By pure reasoning Wolff sought to 
determine the character of all these, and there could be 
nothing but Reason to determine them by. He had indeed 
his empirical physics and empirical psychology, but these 
were subordinate to the rational doctrine of World and Soul, 
more especially as far as concerned their ultimate essence or 
inner substance, of which there was no experience. Of the 
World as a harmonious whole of real beings appearing, as far 
as they appeared to our sense at all, in the guise of external 
nature, or, again, of the Soul as that permanent substance or 
force, the spring of all our conscious life, there could be no 
experience ; still less could there be any experience of the 
Infinite Being, the Being of Beings. Yet into all these 
supernatural entities and pure Being itself \Volff claimed to 
have rational insight ; nay the more, the farther they were 
removed above experience. 

A fine prospect surely, that philosophic reason should be 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 321 

able to determine all that was best worth knowing determine 
it fully, and (what was of as much account) determine it all 
from within. Nor could there be any doubt that it was by 
an unconquerable impulse that the human mind was ever 
being driven forth beyond its experience to find a realm of 
the purely intelligible, when system after system of metaphysic 
had been appearing since the dawn of reflexion. But was 
it not a strange and suspicious circumstance that system after 
system as regularly disappeared, even though it were only to 
appear over again in some new shape ; nothing here being 
fixed, while other sciences were making steady progress? 
The prospect, however fine, somehow remained prospect 
always. And now here was Hume, with cool, steady hand 
drawing a veil that shut out all such prospect for ever ; nay, 
as the result of his dialectic, leaving it doubtful whether even 
on the field of experience any one thing could be brought 
into fixed and certain connexion with anything else. It was 
time indeed that meiaphysic should be called on to establish 
its pretensions to establish them, or, failing that, to abandon 
them. Such was the form in which it first became a question 
with Kant to inquire into the nature and capabilities of Pure 
Reason. Metaphysic, as dealing with the supernatural, was 
a creation of Pure Reason : Was such a science possible ? 
The Prolegomena is mainly an answer to the question in that 
form. It is answered by implication and with much more 
circumstance in the Kritik in this other form : Is knowledge 
possible through pure Reason, apart from all or any experience, 
and transcending experience ? 

Whether Hume was right or not as regards knowledge of 
the supernatural, Kant came in time to be convinced, as he 
had from the first suspected, that the general question of 
knowledge was tried upon far too limited an issue by his 

Y 



322 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

acute predecessor. In particular was it not a fact that 
sciences existed, pure in respect of having their origin not 
in experience and being freely extended without reference 
to actual experience, yet real in having an indubitable 
application to the realm of experience? What of Mathe 
matics, the very type of exact knowledge, carried so far by 
the continuous labour of many generations? And what 
of that body of laws or principles (in which the law of 
causation was but one), which men had ready to employ 
for the interpretation of their natural experience, and which 
taken altogether formed a general Science of Nature ? Related 
to Metaphysic in respect of their method, so that any settle 
ment of its fate must needs reflect upon them, they had 
all the character of universal recognition and progressive 
development so notoriously wanting to it. Why then not 
judge of its pretensions or claims in the light of their 
achievements? Let it be discovered how they could be 
what in fact they were, and so it might be clearly seen 
whether it could be what in fact it yet was not. A critical 
search for their conditions would at the same time show 
what conditions should be required of it. Therefore the 
Prolegomena, for the sake of the main question, seeks first 
to answer two others : How is pure. Mathematics possible ? 
How is pure Science of Nature possible ? Both are answered 
by implication and more exhaustively in the Kritik in another 
form: How is knowledge possible through pure Reason, which 
shall hold for experience received by Sense and fashioned by 
Thought ? 

If this makes clear the relation of the two works, it will 
be possible without misunderstanding to pass from the one 
to the other, where need is. There remains, however, one 
mode of statement which not only may be adopted from the 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 323 

point of view of either, but has the advantage of bringing 
the whole inquiry into the compass of a single question. 
How are synthetic judgments a priori possible ? Till the 
critical question is made to assume this general form, it does 
not admit of a general solution. The solution in full is to 
be looked for only in the Kritik, or rather the Kritik is the 
solution. But first the statement of the question itself needs 
some explanation 1 . 

III. Mathematical Necessity and Muscular Sense. 

Reverting to the first special question in its most general 
form : How is the pure science of Mathematics possible ? or 
rather, How is pure geometry possible ? for it is practically 
to geometry that Kant limits the inquiry there can be little 
doubt that it was through this question that he first got 
beyond Hume, when already by the year 1770 he is seen 
with his doctrine of space wrought out. It took a much 
longer time before he was equally sure of having surmounted 
Hume s doctrine of physical experience. The reason for 
this was not only because the second question was one more 
difficult in itself: Hume did not grapple with the first in that 
portion of his work known to Kant 2 . Neither had Locke 
done much more to explain the true import of mathematical 
science, though to attempt it lay still more in his way than in 
Hume s, bent as he was on giving a positive account of the 
variety of human knowledge from the ground of experience. 
Before Kant s time the Rationalists also had failed to 

1 The student should here refer to supra, Lect. XIII, and study 
the Transcendental Aesthetic in the Kritik. ED. 

2 Hume s Inquiry concerning Human Understanding was translated 
into German in 1765 ; the Treatise (in which he does deal with the 
question of mathematical truth) was not translated till 1793. Kant, 
when he wrote the Kritik, knew the former work only. 

Y 2 



324 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

account for the nature of the science of mathematics. 
Splendid mathematician as Leibniz was, he did not in his 
philosophy distinguish between the logical necessity of 
analytic judgment and the necessity that might be claimed, 
which he was foremost to claim, for judgments that were 
really synthetic. Kant just did that, and so put the question 
as to mathematical truth in train for settlement I It may be 
said that on all hands before Kant the necessity of geometry 
was saved at the expense of its character as a real objective 
science. 

The answer of the Prolegomena to the question, How 
can geometry be at once a science of pure intuition and 
objectively valid ? if not in these words, may be thus stated: 
Geometry can make universal and necessary determinations, 
if it makes them concerning that which is not got by way of 
experience, but is furnished forth from within the mind ; and 
these determinations are objectively valid of sensible things, 
if sense-experience cannot be had by the mind except under 
conditions of that which is thus supplied by the mind. 
Geometry deals with space and is valid for objects as filling 
space. If space is not got through sense, but is given with 
the sensibility is presupposed before sensations then what 
ever is determined regarding it is necessarily determined for 
all that cannot be received except as falling within it. 

But this is only half the battle. We are not told how the 
determination of space is made. Granted that, being made, 
it is made also necessarily for all that in any case it may 
enfold, the real difficulty is as to the making of it. Space 
taken merely as a Form of Sensibility a sort of indispensable 
frame within which sensations are received is something 
inert and barren, explaining nothing. That the mind should 
be so constituted as to receive sense-impressions only in 



xxviii.] Elements of General Philosophy. 325 

a fixed way is one thing : it is another that the mind should 
be able, as regards this fixed way of receiving, to make all 
kinds of a priori determination of it to make it the subject 
of an endless variety of pure intuitions. Or let the difficulty 
be put thus : Geometry in its intuitive judgments brings to 
gether into synthetic unity different aspects of space. Where 
does the combining power come in ? 

The Krilik, within its wide scope, does not fail to meet and 
resolve this difficulty. It draws a distinction, which we shall 
dwell upon more fully at a later stage, between receptivity 
of sense and spontaneity of knowledge through under 
standing. The mind is not only liable to be affected, but 
is capable of acting, in the one case, as in the other, in 
a determinate manner prescribed by its constitution. Its 
action is what is called thinking, and how Thought must 
operate to become Knowledge proper may be called the 
central question in the whole critical inquiry. Geometrical 
science, being knowledge knowledge indeed of the most 
perfect sort involves thinking or the spontaneous activity 
of mind; but, as its judgments were said to be intuitive, 
depending upon no generalised experience nay, for that 
matter, upon no experience at all the mental action takes 
place in a manner peculiar. What the mind spontaneously 
brings before itself to be regarded intuitively, for example 
a line, is something singular, as much singular as in the 
empirical intuition of sensation. Without having an object 
actually before the senses it is as if an object were there. 
That condition, with reference to anything that we have had 
sensible experience of, is called Representative or Reproductive 
Imagination. The geometrical figure is also had in Imagi 
nation, but not representatively, because there never was any 
experience of it. The mental act by which it is called into 



326 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

being is an act of Productive Imagination. When we think 
of a line or circle we draw it in thought by a motion which, 
says Kant, is an act of pure subject. Drawing it so, we in 
the very act or fact accomplish a synthesis of the successive 
stages. Such is the agency through which it comes to pass 
that within space, as the pure Form of Sensibility, particular 
determinations can be made and particular conjunctions 
be established. The space of the geometer, had by pure 
intuition, is therefore something very different from space 
as the mere form of Sensibility. Were space not such 
a form, no pure intuition would be possible, or at least 
none having any reference or application to sensible objects. 
But for the pure intuition to take place, constructive action 
is necessary, and this, according to Kant, is the work of the 
faculty called Productive Imagination. 

Between Kant and modern Experientialism the question 
as to geometry still remains under dispute. I say geometry, 
because that is the particular exact science as regards which 
Kant fully defined his position ; but, of course, it is not only 
geometry that is involved. Modern Experientialism has 
generalised the inquiry, and has found its profit in so doing. 
But what is this Experientialism ? Under that common ban 
ner are ranged inquiries of very different kinds. When Kant, 
defining the exact character of the pure science of geometry 
upon the side where its demonstrative certainty had been 
confounded with mere logical necessity, declared that it could 
never be explained if its subject were held to be given in or 
through any experience, he was reckoning only with psycho 
logists like Locke and Berkeley, and with these when they 
had implied^ rather than asserted certainly not when they 
had ever tried to show that the science had an experiential 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 327 

origin. Professional mathematicians except Leibniz, and 
he rather in his other capacity as a speculative philosopher- 
had not reflected upon the theory of their practice. But, 
since the time of Kant, and more or less in the light of his 
Criticism, mathematicians have been forward to probe 
the secret of their methods and sound the foundations of 
their science. Logicians also, or general theorists upon 
Method, have considered the case of mathematics in 
relation to that of the positive sciences generally. And 
psychologists, concerned to trace the development of human 
knowledge, have brought to light sources of experience and 
determined the character of intellectual processes of special 
import to the theory of mathematics. As regards the pro 
fessional mathematicians, I take it to be a mere statement of 
fact to say that their late researches and their present outlook 
do not tend to make them rest content with Kant s resolution 
of his first problem. I refrain, however, from the presump 
tion of offering a lay opinion upon the attitude now taken by 
the leaders on this line of special inquiry. Neither is the 
opportunity suitable for resuming and estimating such 
a general theory of science, inclusive of mathematics, as, 
in this country, J. S. Mill especially has wrought out from 
the ground of Experience. But as Kant based his theory of 
geometry upon a doctrine of Sense his Transcendental 
doctrine, devised to explain what he denied was or could be 
explicable through psychological experience there is forced 
upon us the consideration whether psychology can better 
now than then meet the requirements of the case. 

In investigating the conditions of geometry Kant laid 
stress on the two facts that it dealt with a subject of which 
there was direct intuition, and that it accomplished its 
synthesis by actual construction. In both respects he must 



328 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

be held to have judged rightly, and shown great insight 
beyond his predecessors. The psychology of that day 
whether that of Berkeley, which was the most advanced as 
regards sense-perception, or any that Kant himself wrought 
out before he entered upon the line of critical inquiry which 
raised him, as he thought, above the field of psychological 
research took no account of any intuition but that of 
sensation in which the mind remained wholly passive. 
Hence it became necessary for Kant, as we shall see, to 
ascribe all mental activity to the faculty of understanding or 
intellect ; and having to provide for the construction of figures 
a priori, he did, as we have already seen, call into play the 
intellectual faculty working as Productive Imagination. 

But modern psychology has shown that empirical intuition 
is by no means confined to sensation in which the mind s 
state is to be described, with Kant, as receptivity, and in 
which the bodily organs of sense are also passively affected 
or acted upon. There is a direct intuitive consciousness 
when the muscular organs are thrown into action from the 
brain outwards, and in such circumstances the mental state 
can only be described as spontaneity or activity. Intellectual 
action there is as little in this latter as in the former mode of 
intuition, or, if the view be so taken, it is present as much in 
the first as in the second. 

Why then, for the sake of the construction necessary in 
geometry, resort to the recondite agency of Productive 
Imagination ? When we think of a line, says Kant, we 
draw it in thought by a motion which is an act of pure subject. 
Be it so ; but to have intuition of a line we can also draw it, 
and do first draw it, by a motion which is an act of muscle 
with a peculiar state of consciousness attached. 

Mere empirical intuition this, it will be said, and incapable 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 329 

of being made the ground of judgments holding necessarily 
and universally. True, it is empirical ; but that it is incapable 
of being made the ground* of all that geometry in fact is, is 
not so clear. It is empirical after a fashion of its own 
a fashion very different from that of sensation proper. Sen 
sations, as it were, come or happen to us; are had under 
certain circumstances over which we may not have the least 
control, and in the absence of those circumstances are not 
had. That is the true note of what Experience, in the 
despised sense of the word, is. How different our expe 
rience of muscular activity ! We can have it when we like, 
for as long as we like, as varied as we like ; and when we 
like, we can cease to have it. What more does Kant get 
from the Productive Imagination in the way of intuition 
a priori ? 

Then it is an experience which enfolds and circumscribes 
our experiences of sensation proper. When Kant declares 
Space to be the Form of all External Sense he says more 
than the truth ; for there are sensations received by some of 
the external senses without any reference to space ; or, at all 
events, there are among the so-called external sensations 
great differences in this respect, some being referred altogether 
away into objects as qualities thereof, others being referred 
not beyond our own organs, and so forth. But precisely in 
as far as any sensations have a reference to space, in so far 
are they subject to modification through muscular move 
ments of which we are conscious ; and if they have a definite 
setting in space, they are sensations which movements of 
ours may bring on, and which movements of ours may 
limit. 

It is now a psychological commonplace to say that we 
apprehend objects as spread out in space through conscious 



33 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

movements of our members, and such experience renders 
account of their extension as much as our sensation renders 
account of their sensible qualities. We may think away, 
says Kant, all the sensible qualities of a body, but not ex 
tension. If he means its determinate extension of which 
we had experience by particular conscious muscular move 
ments, the statement is not true : we can think that away as 
well as the rest. If he means space generally or space 
altogether, the statement is irrelevant; no Experientialist 
would pretend to think that away, in thinking away any 
thing belonging to a particular body. Space in general or 
space altogether, supposing it developed by experience, was 
assuredly not got with the experience of any particular body. 

Upon what varied and .protracted experience it may be 
supposed to be developed, there is no time now to consider. 
Suffice it only to say or to repeat that the experience is such, 
in comparison with the experience had through the senses 
proper, that the difference of result I mean between the 
appearance of space and appearance in space is not at all 
surprising. And scientific determinations made of it, though 
they need not have that absolute character ascribed to them 
which Kant claims for geometrical propositions, must still be 
allowed a character of relative generality and priority in com 
parison with the propositions of physical science. 

It is enough if the remarks just made have indicated that 
Kant s theory of Space and Geometry, however it rose high 
above any that had been thought out before, is now put on 
its defence and has a hard task to maintain itself. Yet no 
theory that may take its place can do so without well regard 
ing all that it involves. Of such importance the part of 
Kant s critical doctrine which we have now considered can 
never be robbed. 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 331 

IV. On the Nature and Conditions of Intellectual Synthesis. 

WE now come to the most difficult part of Kant s critical 
doctrine the part at least that has commonly been found 
most difficult, and of which even the general import has mostly 
remained sealed to the English thinkers who have touched it 
in going about their own business. In the Kritik it is the 
subject of a very long and crooked exposition, enough to 
daunt the resolution of many who are not weak. Kant 
himself found it the hardest part of all his task to think out, 
and was after all so little satisfied with his first exposition of 
it, that he must needs, at the most important stage, make 
another attempt in his second edition an attempt ending in 
a result which not the most devoted adherent can pronounce 
a uniform improvement. It is the part of his doctrine 
where we seem to have most reason to be thankful for 
having the Prolegomena to bring out into relief the points of 
greatest importance from the surrounding mass of subsidiary 
argument ; and we shall accordingly begin with the questions 
as there put and answered. But here, even more than before, it 
is impossible to confine the view to the minor work. Unless 
resort is had to the Kritik itself, the strength of Kant s 
position, with its elaborate system of defences, must remain 
unknown. Its weak points also, if we can discover such, 
must then become more apparent when he is seen wrestling 
with the difficulties which he was too acute not to apprehend, 
and too honest to glide over. 

The general question as put in the Prolegomena is in this 
form : How is pure Science of Nature possible ? which, as 
we must now understand, is the same as asking, How is it 
possible for the mind to determine anything necessarily about 
Nature ? The mind does so, for example, when it declares 



33 2 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

that every event must have a cause ; also in mathematical 
physics, or the application of mathematics to nature, the 
determinations made are necessary. About the fact, in 
Kant s opinion, there can be no doubt, and we may at 
once have before us his general answer to the question. 
Nature could never become the subject of synthetic judgment 
a priori if for our knowledge we were dependent on mere 
experience that comes to us ; in other words, if Nature had 
an existence quite independent of the mind. It can be 
known as it is known only if the mind, which so judges 
a priori, itself constitutes or makes Nature. 

The strain of this answer is manifestly similar to that of 
the solution given to the question about pure Geometry. 
But it is not less clear that the circumstances of the two 
questions are very different. The mind in making determi 
nations of space by intuition a priori is, in Kant s view, in no 
respect dependent on experience. True, the determinations 
when made are valid for sensible objects; but this fact, 
which makes geometry a real objective science and has to 
be explained, does nothing to impair its purity as regards 
experience. On the other hand, Nature is the world of 
Experience the complex of all the objects of Experience, 
as Kant himself calls it. How then can the mind make or 
constitute that which confessedly it has to acquire ? Or how 
can that be experience which the mind, in order to know 
anything about it a priori, must constitute ? 

Kant meets this difficulty also by a further application of 
the distinction of Form and Matter before employed to 
account for Intuition a priori of Space and Time. Such 
intuition was possible because it bore altogether upon the 
mere form of sensibility, which is innate, to the exclusion 
of the matter of sensation, which is received or acquired. 



XXVIIL] Elements of General Philosophy. 333 

In like manner a priori determination of experience will 
be possible, if it bears altogether upon the mere form 
of experience to the exclusion of its matter. The matter 
of experience is the variety of phenomena constituted of 
sensations received in Space and Time, and this matter 
cannot but be empirically got; but Nature is more than 
a variety of phenomena. We have just spoken of Nature 
as a complex of objects, meaning that the objects are in 
fixed relations with one another are connected bound up 
together. Otherwise expressed, Nature is the complex of 
the objects of experience constituted through or according 
to fixed laws. Formally, it is the system of laws. These 
laws in so far as necessary which is to say, the form of 
experience cannot be acquired as matter of experience is. 
The only alternative is that the form must be innate that 
the necessary laws of experience spring from the mind ; 
and that experience, in the full and effective sense that is 
meant when we speak of Nature, is constituted by the mind 
imposing laws upon phenomena. 

Now the Prolegomena says shortly that judgments of 
perception or merely subjective associations (e. g. when the 
sun shines on the stone it grows warm ) are turned into 
judgments of experience or objective conjunctions holding 
necessarily for all (e.g. the sun warms the stone ) by the 
addition of concepts having their origin a priori in the 
understanding. This is fully explained only in the Kritik^. 

The truly fundamental question at this stage with Kant 
is as to the nature and conditions of intellectual synthesis 

1 Read Transcendental Logic, first division ; especially Book I of 
Transcendental Analytic. Cf. supra, Lect. XIII. ED. 



334 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

at all stages indeed, but more especially now at this. The 
general problem of the Critical Philosophy, How are 
synthetic judgments a priori possible ? showed it to be so 
everywhere. In the Prolegomena the first special inquiry, 
How is pure mathematics possible? raised a question of 
synthesis. The second special inquiry, as to Science of 
Nature, raises it again. In the first part of the Kritik (the 
Transcendental Aesthetic) the question was submerged, only 
to come forth expressly now. What was the result of the 
Transcendental Aesthetic-? That all sensations are received 
by the mind in the form of Time, and external sensations 
farther in the form of Space. In Sense the mind is passively 
affected, and not less so, because the affection takes place 
under conditions that are fixed in its nature. There is, in 
Kant s view, no synthesis in the faculty, or, as we should 
more properly call it, the capacity, of Sense. Synthesis 
means activity Spontaneity as opposed to Receptivity and 
in Sense the mind is not active at all. But the mind can 
act can combine ; manifests another faculty truly to be 
called such the faculty, namely, of Thought or Understand 
ing. That faculty also will have its fixed conditions, as the 
other had. The mind will think in a determinate way, as 
it was shown to be in a determinate way liable to be sensibly 
affected, and by reason of its native constitution in the one 
case as in the other. To discover the a priori conditions 
under which the mind thinks or performs synthesis that is 
the second part of the critical task. 

Kant wrought out the theory with infinite pains in revul 
sion from the scepticism of Hume. The force of all that 
Hume had urged as to the impossibility of finding outside 
the mind a ground of order and connexion among things he 



XXVIIT.] Elements of General Philosophy. 335 

was constrained to allow ; but while Hume was content to 
rest all upon mere subjective custom a tendency to imagine 
upon the strength of past experience Kant s interest in 
science of nature, if nothing else, impelled him to find some 
surer foundation. Nothing besides was more obvious than 
that Hume, in his dialectical handling of Cause in Nature, 
was touching but one side of a much greater question the 
question of objective knowledge generally; and no less a 
question than this, in all its aspects, could Kant stop short of 
raising and trying to settle. The world had never seen the 
attempt made with such consciousness of its full import 
before. 

It was made by Kant upon assumptions both as to fact 
and principle that drew a clear line of separation between 
him and Experientialism, which had spent itself for the time 
in the scepticism of Hume. But Experientialism girt itself 
again to the task of positive explanation, and stands now in 
a very different position from where it stood when Kant 
sought to take away the very ground from beneath its feet. 
What is known as the Associationist school in psychology 
which connects itself, doubtless, through Hume with Berkeley 
and Locke, but which made, as it were, a new start after 
Hume in Hartley and the elder Mill has expressly aimed 
in this generation at rendering an account of Objective 
Experience. And in particular the theory of scientific know 
ledge of nature, which was Kant s first care, has found 
among Experientialists in the younger Mill one who made 
it his chief object of philosophic concern. Mill s System of 
Logic indeed, however different its aspect first and last, does 
attempt from its own point of view a task corresponding with 
that of Kant s Transcendental Logic. Through Mill the 
conception of a Real or Material Logic as opposed to one 



336 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

purely Formal, has become familiar to English minds ; and 
a Real or Material Logic is what, from his own principles, 
Kant gave in his Transcendental Analytic. Let this be well 
understood, that with its own lights, and in the light more 
over of advancing science, the present English school has 
made it its object to give all that satisfaction which Kant 
failed to find in the thought of the English school before his 
day, and set himself to supply upon a different line of inves 
tigation. With what present success, and yet with what 
remaining obligation to ponder now, since it did not ponder 
earlier, Kant s extraordinary work, I have already tried to 
suggest. I have greatly failed if I have not conveyed such a 
notion of the reach and profundity of that work as to make the 
obligation apparent. Quite apart from the validity of Kant s 
principles or assumptions, there is, in his appreciation of the 
problems to be grappled with for the explanation of objective 
knowledge, a depth of insight which later inquirers might 
have profited, and still have to profit, by. 

The side of Kant s doctrine now before us on which 
it is most open to remark or exception, is where he dis 
tinguishes the two faculties of Sense and Thought. Nothing 
could more cast suspicion upon the distinction amounting 
to opposition as he puts it, than the heroic nature of the 
effort necessary to bring the two again together. That the 
two should be brought together was of the very essence of 
his general doctrine : this we have seen already, and it will 
still more decisively be seen another time in his criticism of 
metaphysic as the science of the supernatural, or his criticism 
of the rational faculty claiming to think without reference to 
empirical intuition. His determination to bring them together 
marks him as much off from the Rationalists, as, upon the 
other side, his manner of distinguishing them separated him 



xxvui.] Elements of General Philosophy. 337 

from the Experientialists. But what is the result of the 
effort ? An opposition like that between Sense, in which the 
mind is merely receptive, and Thought, in which the mind is 
all active, cannot be got rid of by placing Imagination between 
the two, and declaring that on the one side it partakes of the 
character of the one, and that on the other side it partakes 
of the character of the other. Or if it can be so got rid of 
and there is no contradiction in the union of such characters, 
then the two extreme faculties have been unwarrantably 
thrust apart, and there is no occasion for spending so much 
pains to bring them together. Either way there is something 
wrong with the theory. 

The pure faculty of Imagination, with Kant, does in truth 
everything for knowledge. Wherever synthesis has to be 
operated and knowledge is a synthesis forth steps the 
ready-witted agent to do the work, and never in vain. With 
its two faces one towards Sense, the other towards Thought 
it has the survey of all and acts accordingly. Nor was it in 
Kant, compared with his predecessors of any school, a small 
achievement to have thus set knowledge going as from one 
mainspring. He did set it going. He did not only say : 
In knowledge there is this and this, as is plainly to be seen/ 
but he showed how it might come to be, and proceed. 
It is another question whether he succeeded in finding the 
truest expression of the process when he called it an act of 
pure subject. Let me recall what I have said or suggested on 
a former occasion as to the now extended view of the sources 
of psychological experience, particularly as to our direct 
consciousness of muscular movement. That has a bearing 
upon the development of our physical experience not less 
than upon that of our apprehension of space and form. We 
cannot move without having passive sensations along with 



338 Elements of General Philosophy. 

our consciousness of the movement; we cannot receive 
passively the sensations that enter into our apprehension of 
objects without executing actual movements. Is not the 
beginning of synthesis to be sought here ? To justify the 
answer Yes/ a far more elaborate argument is necessary 
than any experiential psychologist has yet attempted to work 
out, but it is one for which the psychology of the present 
time is preparing. When it is made, the attempt will have 
the better chance of being successful, if Kant s profound 
explanation of objective experience is at no point ignored. 



LECTURE XXIX. 

ON KANT S CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY (continued]. 

V. The Ideas of Pure Reason. 

THE general result of Kant s Transcendental Analytic, so 
far as it is negative, has been sufficiently caught, and been 
passed on as a commonplace, in later English philosophy, 
agreeing, as it practically does, with the result attained in 
their own way by the English inquirers themselves. But the 
result of Kant s thought, so far as it is positive his explana 
tion, namely, of objective experience with the consequences 
flowing therefrom as to the character of Science of Nature 
has been only imperfectly apprehended, for want of the 
patience requisite to follow the threads of an investigation 
which the nature of the subject more than any fault of his 
renders extremely complex. In that positive doctrine of 
pure knowledge by way of understanding, however, lies 
Kant s highest claim to philosophical importance. 

It is, however, in as far as it is negative that we are now 
to be concerned about the general result. Let it be 
remembered that the object of the whole critical inquiry was 
to test the pretensions of Metaphysic to be a science of the 
supernatural ; or, in the other language employed by Kant, 
to discover whether by pure Reason anything can be deter 
mined regarding that of which there can be no experience. 

z 2 



340 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

We have seen how, in Kant s view, there is a wholly pure 
or rational science of mathematics, applicable to the world 
of experience; also, to certain lengths, a pure or rational 
science of nature, which is the realm of ordered experience. 
What then of metaphysic which professedly deals with all 
that transcends experience ? Can pure Reason determine 
anything synthetically in that region speak positively and at 
the same time with a real meaning there ? The mere want 
of experience would not seem to be a bar against such 
knowledge of the supernatural. Mathematics, in which 
Reason proceeds by way of pure intuition, depends upon no 
experience is not knowledge of anything given in experience. 
Yes, but mark the difference. Mathematical science, while 
it is intuitive, extends only to the form of things, and 
determines nothing as to their real nature. For the know 
ledge of that we are dependent upon sensible experience, so 
that our knowing consists farther only in the interpreting and 
ordering of this under certain pure concepts which are 
expressions for the varied functions of the mind s synthetic 
activity. 

Now, unless it is asserted that we have pure intuitive 
knowledge of things metaphysical which can only mean 
that we have the power constructively to generate them, in 
other words, to create them, as is the case with mathematical 
figures and this nobody maintains, it is clear that our 
knowledge of these also must proceed by way of general 
thinking or comprehension; and then it does become 
important whether we have hold of anything to think about. 
In physical knowledge or common objective experience we 
have matter for thought in the affections of sense which we 
receive, and when this is elaborated through the action of 
understanding the result is knowledge. Is metaphysic in 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 341 

like manner, or. in any corresponding manner, knowledge, or 
is it only mere thinking ? 

It is, then, with physical knowledge or knowledge of Nature 
not mathematics that Metaphysic must be compared. 
Physical knowledge is a knowledge of things or objects : but 
objects of what sort ? Let us see, working backwards from 
the position we have reached. Objects were constituted such 
in relation to pure self-consciousness under pure concepts 
of the understanding within schemata developed by the 
pure faculty of imagination ; and what were they else, that is 
to say, previous to being so constituted? A variety of 
sensations, which are subjective affections, received within 
the subjective forms of Space and Time. We see that even 
when the part of intellect or understanding is left out of 
account, the matter of knowledge is purely subjective is 
something which appears to the senses is Phenomenon. 
Knowledge must thus be declared to be of phenomena only. 
Outside of this subjective circle we cannot get. However, 
then, we may be able to make universal and necessary 
determinations about phenomena and that we can do so is 
the positive result of Kant s investigation so far we make 
them about nothing but phenomena. This is the general 
result on its negative side. How should we be able to pass 
outside the circle of sensible appearances ? We may, indeed, 
says Kant, be quite sure that the sensible appearances portend 
somewhat else ; we may have most sufficient reasons for 
denying that the phenomena are mere illusion and show 
Kant, as was said before, vehemently resents the imputation 
that he could suppose them such ; we may nay, we must 
conceive of Things-in-themselves as the real ground of 
things as they appear to our sensibility, and because they are 
conceived call them Noiimena by opposition to Phenomena. 



342 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

It matters not, so far as knowledge of ours is concerned : at 
least it matters not, so far as any knowledge is concerned 
that goes beyond mere conviction that they are. What 
Things-in-themselves are, we cannot know. We can know 
them only as they sensibly affect us, and then they are no 
longer Things-in-themselves. We do, however, know some 
thing of what they are not. They are not in Space or Time ; 
for Space and Time are mere subjective forms of our sensibility 
and contain sensations only. Neither have the Categories 
any application to them ; for the Categories have application 
through the transcendental scheme only to what is given in 
Time. Thus the conception of Things-in-themselves is one 
wholly devoid of positive meaning ; and knowledge is 
confined to that of which there is experience, actual or 
possible. On the one hand we have sensible experience to 
be knit up into knowledge through the Categories, and we 
have no other matter of experience to be knit up. On the 
other hand the Categories are there as pure forms, empty till 
there comes matter to fill them bare functions effecting 
nothing till sense gives them that upon which they may set 
to work. 

Metaphysic as a general science of the supernatural, of 
things whereof there can be no experience general because 
it employs concepts is upon that showing impossible. 

But, however it may be with metaphysic as a science of 
the supernatural, if there is one thing clearer than another, 
it is that men will not, and even cannot, rest shut up within 
the circle of actual or possible experience ; they will put out 
from their island, as Kant calls it, for a land a very different 
land beyond the sea. That region, which they cannot find, 
they will conceive of as they can, peopling it with thoughts 
and fancies to stand for objects or real beings there. In 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 343 

other words Metaphysic is a natural and ineradicable 
tendency of human reason. No conviction as to the limits 
of knowledge, founded upon such an inquiry as has now 
been carried through, can avail to prevent it. Nor can any 
critical inquiry, even when directed to Metaphysic itself, 
avail to stem it. But direct criticism may, notwithstanding, 
be of use to expose once for all the true character of the 
tendency and to call off the mind to other pursuits, this one 
being seen to be vain. Therefore Kant proceeds to subject 
to the closest scrutiny the metaphysical dogmas set out by 
previous thinkers, especially those of Wolff, the most syste 
matic dogmatist of all. In one sense, as has already been 
more than once observed, this part of the critical doctrine is 
his crowning labour. Equally, however, may it be urged 
that such scrutiny is entered on as affording the best test 
of his positive theory of objective knowledge wrought out 
before. At one stage in particular this will be seen to be 
the uppermost thought on Kant s mind namely, in the 
famous doctrine of the Antinomies. 

In the Kritik, the question now presents itself in this 
shape : Is Thought by itself knowledge ? Can we by pure 
thinking, without reference to matter of intuition, make 
synthetic determination a priori ? The part of Transcen 
dental Logic which expounds the elements of pure know 
ledge by way of thinking, is called by Kant Transcendental 
Analytic, and is a Logic of Truth. When, without regard to 
the material element of Intuition, the mere form of Thought 
is made to give an illusion or show of knowledge, 
Transcendental Logic becomes what Kant calls dialectical. 
The critical scrutiny of such dialectical illusion is the second 
part of this Logic, and gets the name of Transcendental 
Dialectic. It is in the main a critical inquiry into the faculty 



344 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

of Reason, taken in the special sense in which it is opposed 
to the faculty of Understanding. Both are included under 
the general faculty of Thought, or intellectual combination 
through general notions, but they differ as regards the 
notions they employ *. 

The function of Reason as a natural faculty of mind, 
has reference to all such knowledge as the Understanding is 
competent to attain to. The knowledge that we have through 
Understanding operating on the manifold of sensations is 
Ordered Experience a knowledge that is limited every way. 
The experiences limit or condition one another, and hence 
the need arises to have them brought to a higher intellectual 
unity. In the processes of thought as exhibited in Formal 
Logic Reasoning or Syllogism has the function with 
reference to bare judgment, that it brings a conditioned 
under its condition. And in like manner, argues Kant, 
Reason as a synthetic faculty has laid upon it the obligation 
of bringing together under the higher conditions, or rather 
under the highest possible condition, the varied knowledge 
operated through Understanding. Short of the condition 
which is itself unconditioned there is no halting-place ; for 
anything less only leaves occasion for the same work of 
rational interpretation to be repeated. Now, seeing that 
with everything given as conditioned all its conditions must 
at the same time be supposed given, Reason is moved to 
conceive of the whole sum of conditions as unconditioned 

1 By faculty of Reason Kant does not mean that which he calls 
Pure Reason (in the title of his work), and which is his name 
for the general faculty of knowledge a priori. This, in the result, is 
shown to include a faculty of Pure Intuition, and a faculty of Under 
standing through pure concepts. It does not include, or it includes 
only upon an altogether different footing, the faculty specially called 
Reason in contradistinction to Understanding. 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 345 

ground that is wanted for ultimate intellectual satisfaction. 
But in the clear impossibility that there is of mustering 
and keeping hold in thought such an endless series of condi 
tions, what Reason actually does is to make an object out 
of its mere notion or idea of the Unconditioned ; and then, 
treating this as if it were an actual object of which we could 
have experience, Reason would make use of it to give 
the ultimate theoretic explanation of all that Experience 
does in fact bring to view. Such, in the most condensed 
form, is a representation of Kant s view of the function and 
procedure of the faculty of Reason with regard to human 
knowledge in general. It may now be understood how the 
Criticism in detail will consist in the exposure of a tendency 
which, however natural, gives a mere pretence of real 
knowledge. 

Kant, by a new stroke of subtle refining, seeks to show 
that just because there are three and only three forms of 
syllogistic reasoning in pure logic, so the faculty of Reason, 
in its synthetic operation upon the knowledge got by under 
standing, develops three pure concepts or as he prefers, in 
view of their peculiar nature and use, to call them Ideas 
as functions of unity. Commentators have often and justly 
remarked that this exercise of his subtlety, if open to no 
other exception, is thrown away. In truth he had Wolff s 
system of dogmatic Metaphysic before him, and there within 
the general doctrine of pure Being or Ontology he found 
wrought out a rational doctrine of Soul or Psychology, of 
the World or Cosmology, and of God or Theology. Being, 
with Wolff, was either Matter or Spirit, and Spirit was either 
finite like the human soul or infinite as God. Then Wolff 
only set out systematically the subjects that all metaphysicians 
had been confidently reasoning about; and Kant, for his 



346 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

task of criticism, had here no need of other clue to guide 
him. Was the question one as to Metaphysic claiming to 
be a science of all that was most truly real ? The World as 
macrocosm, the Soul as microcosm, and the Deity as ground 
of both, were by universal acknowledgment the unseen and 
deeper realities whose nature was to be rationally expressed. 
Was the question as to the faculty of Reason working to 
interpret by its Ideas, or from out its Ideas to develop, 
all lower knowledge related to experience ? These and no 
others in their rational expression were the parent-con 
ceptions of all. 

The Rational Psychology of Wolff and other metaphy 
sicians, when it seeks to determine the essential nature of 
the Soul or thinking principle, and thence to afford the 
explanation of all mental experience, involves, according to 
Kant, in every one of its affirmations a Paralogism or Fallacy 
of Pure Reason. The doctrine asserts (i) that the Soul is 
a thinking or immaterial Substance ; (2) that it is a Simple 
Substance, and so not liable to dissolution ; (3) that it is 
a substance always identical with itself, in other words, 
a Person\ (4) that it has an existence apart from other 
things, though able to enter into relation with Body. In the 
case of every one of those assertions the fallacy consists in 
the Reason making a real thing or entity out of that pure 
consciousness of self which, for him, was involved in every 
act of thinking. 

Logically regarded, self is the subject to which all thinking 
is referred, but logical subject is not the same as real sub 
stance. So, in thinking, self is undoubtedly to be regarded 
as simple with reference to the manifold which is bound 
together; again, as one and the same while the manifold 
varies; once more, as distinct from all else which comes 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 347 

before it. But, argues Kant, all this proves nothing what 
ever as to the real nature of the soul. Accordingly all 
speculations based upon the metaphysical assertions thus 
shown to be false conclusions from the facts and conditions 
of phenomenal consciousness have no warrant. Immortality, 
for example, cannot be established by any effort of Specu 
lative Reason. As little, however, can any assertions running 
counter to the foregoing be upheld. Materialism in its 
principles, and in its conclusion against immortality, can by 
no possibility be proved. As regards immortality upon which 
interest is here centred, the result of the critical inquiry is 
that no valid reason of the theoretic sort can be given either 
for or against it ; and as there can be none against it, it is 
open to be proved upon other grounds. 

When Reason, acting upon its general idea of the Uncon 
ditioned, proceeds next to interpret the phenomena of Nature 
or the mind s Objective Experience, it involves itself in diffi 
culties of quite another cast. Taking phenomena on the 
side of their conditions, and impelled to conceive of these in 
their totality or completeness, it goes beyond experience and 
thinks a world or cosmos as a separate whole. The start 
here is from experience, but in every way the extension made 
is such that experience can never come up with it. So, under 
the four heads of Categories through which experience is 
constituted, absolute determination is made of the world in 
four ways. It is asserted (i) to have absolute beginning 
in Time and bounds in Space; (2) to be compounded, in 
respect of its sensible reality, of parts absolutely simple; 
(3) to involve causes which act with absolute freedom in no 
necessary dependence upon one another ; (4) to imply the 
existence of an absolutely necessary Being as either part 
or cause. 



348 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

But however cogent be the reasons that are assigned for 
these assertions from the point of view of pure dogmatism 
whence they are made, the strange fact presents itself that, 
from another point of view, precisely opposite assertions can 
be made and upon grounds of reason not a whit less strong, 
(i) The world is as to Time and Space infinite; (2) there is 
nothing simple, but everything without exception is com 
posite ; (3) there is no freedom, but everything happens 
according to natural law; (4) nothing exists that is abso 
lutely necessary. 

On the one hand, in the series of conditions, a first is 
taken as itself unconditioned and made the absolute ground 
of the series ; on the other hand, it is the series itself that 
is taken as unconditioned. Either course may be justified 
equally and developed to its consequences. 

Such is a brief representation of what Kant calls the 
Antinomy of Pure Reason, and nothing, he declares, is so 
much calculated to pull it up in its headlong course of spe 
culative interpretation. Once give Reason way, and it cannot 
help becoming thus divided against itself. Criticism is the 
only means of filling up the breach of composing the strife. 
To be able so to do is, with Kant, the true test of any philo 
sophical theory of knowledge, and none but his own can 
withstand it. As thus : The Antinomies fall into two 
classes the first two to be called Mathematical, the other 
two Dynamical, in the same sense as that in which those 
terms were used to distinguish the Principles of Pure Under 
standing. In the Mathematical Antinomies the uncondi 
tioned in either form of it is homogeneous with the 
conditioned which it is set up to explain ; thus in the first 
Antinomy, the world, whether taken as infinite or absolutely 
bounded in space, is conceived after the fashion of things which 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 349 

we have sensible experience of in space. In the other class 
of Antinomies the unconditioned and conditioned need not 
be thus homogeneous ; a cause may be of a nature quite dif 
ferent from that of its effect. Now where the unconditioned 
and conditioned are alike, the two opposed assertions in the 
Antinomy are contradictory and exclude one another; not 
one only, however, but both must be held false. For, as we 
know that it is only phenomena that are in Space and Time, 
and these pure forms of our sensibility have no application 
to things in themselves, the world of Reason, which is not 
the world of Experience, cannot possibly have ascribed to 
it either infinity or absolute limitation in the one or the 
other form. 

The second Antinomy is to be resolved likewise. Divi 
sion in space has application only to phenomena of which 
there is experience, and takes place as there is experience of 
it : the opposite views err alike in misconceiving the world of 
sensible experience for a world of things-in-themselves, or in 
applying to the latter language which has a meaning only 
in relation to the former. Different is the resolution to be 
made of the Antinomies of the other class. Here the 
counter-assertions are verbally opposed, but may both be 
true in a different application. It is quite possible that all 
phenomena may be connected with other phenomena as 
their cause, and so the chain of cause and effect in nature 
be unbroken, and yet that they should depend on causes 
working freely in the intelligible world of Noiimena or 
things-in-themselves. So, again, it may well be that there is 
nothing within the realm of phenomena that is not subject in 
every way to conditions, and yet there may exist intelligibly 
an absolutely necessary being the unconditional ground of 
all that appears. 



35 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT, 

Kant s conclusion, then, is that, if not sought within the 
sphere of phenomena, free agency or freedom of will is 
possible, also that no argument from experience can exclude 
the possibility of an absolute being the supernatural cause 
of Nature. But he proceeds to show that, when Speculative 
Reason, planting itself wholly outside of Experience, seeks to 
determine Being in general, and turns its subjective Ideal of 
Being brought to highest unity into an objective existence, 
including all reality and perfection, moreover conceived as 
a person, the step, regarded from the critical point of view, 
is wholly inadmissible. As if conscious of the uncertainty of 
the step, Reason, in the way of Speculative Theology, has 
sought to justify it by a variety of arguments ; and Kant 
accordingly subjects these, known as the proofs of the 
existence of Deity, to a scrutiny which remains for ever 
memorable. 

The proofs commonly given are brought to three (i) the 
a priori or ontological argument, from the very nature of the 
concept or idea of Deity; (2) the cosmological argument, 
from the contingent existence of things actual to the exist 
ence of a necessary being as their ground ; (3) the physico- 
theological, also called the teleological, argument, from the 
evidences of design in nature to an intelligent First Cause 
or Creator. 

In the last resort, according to Kant, all depends on the 
validity of the a priori or ontological proof. The argument 
from Design, however striking and forcible, does not take us 
beyond Nature, or, even supposing it to do so, cannot, prove 
the supernatural cause to be one and absolute. At least it 
cannot do this of itself without the help of the second or 
cosmological argument from contingent to necessary exist 
ence ; while that in turn labours under the defect that the 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 351 

necessary existence has still to be proved the Being inclusive 
of all reality and perfection. Does then the conception of 
a Being as most real and perfect prove the existence thereof? 
Yes, it is argued, because it would be contradictory to sup 
pose such a Being non-existent, or, again, to suppose a Being 
most perfect, if the attribute of existence be wanting. But 
just there, Kant urges, lies the error. Existence is no attri 
bute to be added to or taken from a concept : the content 
of a notion remains the same, whether reality is ascribed to it 
or not. Real existence is a synthetic, not an analytic pre 
dicate, the ground of which for phenomena is sensible 
experience received by us. In default of such experience, 
impossible in the case of a being not phenomenal, thought 
cannot make the necessary synthesis. The existence can 
neither be begged nor proved. 

The general conclusion, then, to which Kant is brought 
is that the Ideas of Pure Reason are in no respect principles 
constitutive of a knowledge beyond experience, as the Categories 
are principles or rules constitutive of experience. Through 
the Categories objects are constituted or made, and they may 
be drawn out into synthetic propositions a priori valid for all 
experience. The Ideas, transcending all experience, con 
stitute nothing objectively for want of appropriate matter, 
such as sense supplies to the Categories; and drawn out into 
such synthetic propositions a priori as make the burden of 
metaphysical systems, they give a mere pretence of know 
ledge. Yet are they not, therefore, of no account for our 
cognition? Applied to experience constituted through the 
Categories or pure Concepts of Understanding they have 
a regulative function of the highest importance. They are 
constantly directing that knowledge had through under 
standing be brought, as far as may be, to unity and system. 



352 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

They are, then, so many problems to be solved, and not less 
effective for direction or regulation, because of the insight 
which criticism gives into the theoretic insolubility. For 
example, however impotent Speculative Reason may be to 
establish an absolute First Cause, what more promotive of 
systematic scientific knowledge than the view that the world 
is one and the work of a Supreme Reason? 

The Kritik of Pure Reason, in disallowing a science of 
speculative metaphysic, after explaining and justifying the 
pure science of mathematics and physics, leaves wholly 
problematical the immortality of the soul, free-will, and the 
existence of God, to demonstrate which was the metaphy 
sician s highest aim. Often Kant has been understood to 
demolish all three assertions as pure figments, and it has 
been charged against him as inconsistency and weakness 
that he forthwith proceeded upon other grounds to set up 
again what no one so triumphantly as he had overthrown. 
But this is altogether to misconceive the man and his work. 
We see him in his earliest period of speculative confidence 
concerned above all to affirm and maintain the existence of 
Deity, and again years after Hume had destroyed his faith in 
reason at all other points, it still asserts itself in him with 
regard to this central position of all. By-and-by, indeed, 
when embarked on his own critical inquiry, he recovers his 
faith in reason at other points, only to lose it here ; but there 
is sufficient evidence in his work and otherwise that, however 
the fearless honesty of his intellect drove him to resign what 
most he had cherished, in his heart he cherished it still- He 
leaves this question and the others, as I said, problematical ; 
which means, indeed, that the answer is uncertain theo 
retically, but that an answer is required. And if an answer 
in the affirmative is uncertain, he takes quite special care to 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 353 

show that a negative answer is theoretically no more certain 
either. The field is open then for argument other than of 
the theoretic sort. 

It must suffice here to give the merest indication of the 
way in which Kant was able to attain to the measure of 
certainty which he found needful. The supernatural shown 
by the Kritik of Pure Reason to be closed against man s 
speculative insight, is disclosed by a Kritik of Practical 
Reason as the necessary condition of man s moral action. 
There is in human consciousness a law of duty, categorically 
imperative : Act so that the maxim of thy will may at all 
times become a universal law for all. The law is there, but 
how can man so act ? He can because he ought : in having 
the duty he has the power : he must have the power. Free 
will is the first postulate of moral action. Now, of a truth, 
it is not as man is a natural being having a place in the 
world of phenomena that he can thus act freely : in the realm 
of phenomena everything takes place according to a neces 
sary law of causality. But speculative reason was good for 
this at least that it pointed to a realm of intelligible existence, 
of which it could be said affirmatively that it did exist and 
negatively that it was not subject to the law of phenomena 
in space and time. The Kritik of Pure Reason farther solved 
the third antinomy by showing that it could well be that 
human actions should be determined in the way of natural 
causation by phenomenal circumstances, and yet that they 
should be at every stage determined quite otherwise across 
from the supernatural sphere in which a law of freedom of 
pure self-determination might reign. What thus theoretically 
was possible, the fact of Duty turns into necessary assumption. 
Man must be free as an intelligible being or Noiimenon ; 
and it is upon man as Phenomenon that the law of Duty is 

A a 



354 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

imposed. Freedom of Will is thus the great postulate of the 
Practical Reason. But the Practical Reason, besides enjoining 
a law of Duty, provides also a final end of action in the idea 
of an unconditioned Supreme Good ; and man being a sen 
tient as well as a rational being, Happiness as well as Perfect 
Virtue or Moral Perfection must be involved therein. Now 
since there is no necessary conjunction of the two in nature, 
it must be sought otherwise. It is found in postulating 
Immortality and God. Immortality is required to render 
possible the attainment of moral perfection. Virtue from 
respect for law, with a constant tendency to fall away, is all 
that is attainable by man in this life. Moral Perfection, or 
complete accommodation of the Will to the Moral Law, can 
be attained to only in the course of an infinite progression, 
which means personal immortality. God must farther be 
postulated as the ground of the required conjunction of 
Happiness with Moral Perfection. Happiness is the condition 
of the rational being in whose whole existence all goes ac 
cording to wish and will ; which is not the condition of man, 
for in him observance of the Moral Law is not conjoined with 
any power of disposal over the laws of Nature. But as Prac 
tical Reason demands the conjunction, it is to be found only 
in a Being, the author at once of Nature and of the Moral 
Law ; and this is God. 

This part of Kant s doctrine has, as usual with him, its 
two aspects. There is the denial of any speculative know 
ledge of the supernatural, and there is prepared in the 
Kritik of Pure Reason and consummated in the Kritik of 
Practical Reason the assertion that there are grounds for 
the strongest practical conviction of it. 

It is easy now, as Kant s contemporaries found it easy 
then, to lay the finger upon the weak place in this two-sided 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 355 

theory. The Noiimenon or Thing-in-itself, the unknowable 
ground of what appears, which notwithstanding from the 
very first proves to be so far knowable and known that its 
existence is most positively declared, ends by having much 
else positively affirmed concerning it. It is namely some 
what in its nature higher and better than the phenomenon ; 
for in man it has the right to impose on his phenomenal 
being an imperative law of action. It also is a cause with 
reference to the phenomenon : Kant s whole theory of sense 
as a receptivity rests upon this basis, and his postulate of 
human freedom under his solution of the Third Antinomy 
demands it. But surely here transcendent application is 
made of a category whose proper sphere of application, in 
Kant s own view, is experience. It was not to be expected 
that thinkers should rest in such a conception of the 
Noiimenon as unknowable. Either it had to become fully 
known and so be got rid of, or it had to be got rid of by 
being discounted. Speculative Reason had to find a means 
of surmounting the barriers which Kant had set, or need was 
that human inquiry should withdraw therefrom and frankly 
resign itself to the phenomenal. Kant s speculative suc 
cessors from Fichte to Hegel spent themselves in the former 
task, and their efforts left little, if anything, to be ever after 
attempted in that direction. In various ways by the pur 
suit of positive science and the resort to psychological inquiry 
others have taken the alternative course a course that 
from the nature of it is in no danger of being too speedily 
run. 

Kant in his Kritik decided for ever if it had been left, 
which practically it was not, to be so decided that verifiable 
knowledge is confined to the region of phenomenal expe 
rience. Practically it was not left to be so decided, for 
A a 2 



356 Elements of General Philosophy. [LECT. 

already the positive sciences had advanced too far to be 
stayed by any philosophic theory. Not the less, however, 
was such a comprehensive theory as his a great and oppor 
tune work in the interest of the sciences themselves. It is 
not all scientific men that are aware, even as regards their 
own special science, by what right of tenure it is held ; and 
even superior scientific men have been known, off the line of 
their own special science, to have curious ideas as to the 
possibilities of human knowledge, from which a course of 
the Critical Philosophy, better than anything else, would have 
saved them. Kant, by his profound analysis of the conditions 
of knowledge, established once for all in what directions and 
within what limits it could be had. Nor, because he thought 
it possible to determine a priori the general principles of 
physical science, were these principles of aught but phe 
nomenal experience. Besides, it was the science of external 
nature only that he thus made bold to forecast. His Meta- 
physic of Nature made no profession to cover the field of 
mind. A pure science of psychology, even as phenomenal, 
was no part of his projected philosophical system. In his 
view there could be merely an empirical science of mind. 
All the more significant is it, then, that in later days those 
who are least disposed to underrate the importance of his 
philosophical labours turn to psychology for the means of 
resolving the difficulties as to human knowledge which his 
critical inquiry, if it did not succeed in resolving them, 
must always have the credit of first bringing to light. That 
philosophy must be based on a science of psychology, in 
volving the best attainable knowledge concerning the growth 
and development of mental life, remains, after all the thought 
of the past, the dominant idea in the thought of the present. 
It is an idea altogether in keeping with the general intel- 



xxix.] Elements of General Philosophy. 357 

lectual tendency of the century. After much thinking about 
things as they are found, men have learned to look for a truer 
comprehension of them through an inquiry how they have 
come to be. We seek now to understand things in the 
light of their development and such conception as can be 
had of their origin. It is so in all matters of scientific 
interest in things natural, whether animate or inanimate, 
also in things or institutions that have come into being 
through human action or effort. Why not also mind more 
especially as mind has its evolution, not in the individual 
only, but also in the race ? Yet, though insight may be had 
in this way not to be had otherwise, there is in such method 
itself no safeguard against superficiality of treatment. In 
regard to things not in our power it is easy to fancy that we 
are working out a continuous representation of their develop 
ment, when the representation is anything but continuous, 
and when we have got but little hold of that which has truly to 
be traced. Therefore must analysis of the actual be never 
intermitted but carried deep, to make known what it is of 
which the origin has to be sought. I believe that Kant s 
critical inquiry into the human faculty of knowledge was an 
analysis that disclosed elements in it, the import of which has 
not yet been fully apprehended, and raised questions most 
real and pressing which yet await their answer from psy 
chology. And I end as I began, by asserting that it greatly 
concerns the English psychology of the present day to give 
heed to them. 



APPENDIX. 



NOTE TO LECTURE XVIII, p. 183. 

From Elements of General Psychology, LECTURE II. 

Scheme of Fundamental Sciences. 

OBJECTIVE. SUBJECTIVE. 

[Logic] 

1. Mathematics. Psychology. 

2. Physics. p 

3. Chemistry. Regulative doctrines or disci-\ Logic. 

4. Biology. \plines (not sciences] dependent upon > Esthetics. 

5. Psychology. Psychology. Ethics. 

6. Sociology. 



INDEX. 



Abelard, 49, 50. 

Abstraction, 70, 79, So. 

Academics, 29, 35. 

Action, 86 et seq,, 144, 194. 

Active sense, 171. 

Activity, 179, 285, 328. 

Adamson, 13. 

Altruism, 197. 

Esthetics, a department of philo 
sophy, 2, 181. 

Analysis, 21, 207, 216, 240, 357. 

Analytic propositions, 127. 

Anaxagoras, 31, 33, 218. 

Animals, in Cartesianism, 262. 

Animism, 173, 218. 

Ansclm, 49, 50, 252. 

Antinomies, 343 et seq. 

A posteriori. See Knowledge. 

A priori. See Knowledge. 

Aquinas, 42, 48-50, 53, 232, 253- 
278. 

Arabian philosophy, 26, 36, 42, 
44, 278. 

Archimedes, 28, 36, 54. 

Aristotle, his so-called meta- 
physic, 7, 8, 18 ; his influence, 

26, 35, 43~4 6 .> 48-5> 5 2 ; on 
nature, 29 ; his Categories, 43, 
69 ; works translated, 43, 69 ; 
his Realism, 47, 7 2 ~74 > as 
conciliator, 101 ; on cause, 136, 
141 ; on common sensibles, 156 ; 
on Plato, 211 ; bis logic, 214; 
his psychology, 214 et seq. 



Arnauld, 59, 60, 62, 235, 271. 
Art, 1 86. 

Association, 114, 115. 
Associationism, 65, 112, 116, 131, 

335- 

Astronomy, 35, 210. 
Atomism, 27, 302. 
Augustin, 37 et seq. 
Authority and philosophy, 37, 39, 



Bacon, Francis. 57, 58, 64, 102, 
232, 241. 

Bacon, Roger, 50, 54. 

Bain, mixes up psychology and 
philosophy, 2 ; discounts onto 
logy, 8 ; on muscular sense, 67, 
133 ; a Nominalist, ^9 ; on be 
lief, 86 ; his philosophical posi 
tion, 117; on matter, 169; on 
freewill, 196 ; on heat, 257 ; on 
neutral feelings, 267. 

Belief, philosophical import of, 
1 6 ; psychological analysis of, 
86 ; philosophy of, 91 ; b. and 
knowledge, 86 ; complexity of, 
89 ; b. and opinion, 208. 

Berkeley, 23; his Experientialism, 
64-66; his Nominalism. 78, 79; 
on cause, 140 ; B. and Locke, 
113, 156; theory of matter, 154 
et seq. ; B. and Descartes, 256. 

Body and mind, 177, 255 et seq., 
271. 



3 6 



Index. 



Boethius, 43. 

Boyle, 54. 

British philosophy, 22, 52, 215, 

244. 

Brown, 67, 116, 306. 
Bruno, 52, 278. 
Burnet, 31 n. 
Butler, 155, 191. 

Calvin, 193. 

Carlyle, 75. 

Cartesianism, 270 et seq. 

Cartesians, 56-60, 270 et seq. 

Categories, of Aristotle, 43 ; of 
the understanding. See Under 
standing. 

Causality, 122, 135, 249, 298. 

Causation, 135 et seq. 

Cause, 100 ; notion of, 135 ; in 
science, 139; in Cartesianism, 
141 ; final, 287, 298 ; efficient, 
290. 

Charlemagne, 41. 

Chemistry, 21. 

Christian philosophy, 24, 25, 37 
et seq., 199, 219. 

Church, 37 et seq., 261. 

Cicero, 35. 

Claubergius, 270. 

Clerselier, 234. 

Cogito ergo sum, 61, 245 et seq. 

Cognition, 15, 16, 67. 

Coleridge, 101. 

Common sense, philosophy of, 63, 
118, 122, 165, 226. 

Common sensibles, 156. 224. 

Communication, 81, 148. 

Comte, 6, 18, 141, 149, 209, 305. 

Conation, 86, 191. 

Concept, import of, 69 ; variety in 
79, 82. 

Conception, 67, 68. 

Conceptualism, Socratic, 34, 70 ; 
mediaeval, 72-84. 

Condillac, 67, 82, 206. 

Conditioned, principle of the, 122, 
138, 195- 

Consciousness, circle of, 168, 341. 



Conservative faculty, 120. 
Consistency, 188. 
Constantinople, fall of, 44, 50. 
Contiguity, law of, 1 14. 
Continuity. See Leibniz. 
Co-ordination of sciences, 18-20. 
Copernicus, 51, 55, 261. 
Cosmology, 27, 32, 33, 345. 
Cosmothetic Idealism, 166, 256. 
Cousin, 305. 
Crescas, 277. 
Criterion, of good, 185; of truth, 

248 et seq. 
Critical philosophy, 57, 63, 124, 

244, 304 et seq. 
Custom, 114, 335. 
Cynics, 30. 
Cyrenaics, 30. 

Dark ages, 24, 37-42. 

Darwin, 148. 

Deduction, 93, 238, 242. 

Democritus, 27, 28, 30-32, 216. 

Descartes, birth, 52, 231 ; scien 
tific discoverer, 54; founder of 
modern philosophy, 57, 61, 62 ; 
his philosophic position, 61, 
102 ; life, 231 ; method, 231 et 
seq. ; philosophy, 244 et seq. ; 
his criterion of truth, 248 ; as 
dualist, 62, 155, 271 ; on the 
self, 248 ; on substance, 247, 
256; as Conceptualist, 257; on 
space, 258 ; on the soul, 264. 

Destutt de Tracy, 67, 116. 

Determinism, 192. 

Dialectic, 208, 216, 343. 

Ding an sick. See Noiimenon. 

Disbelief, 90. 

Discovery, 240. 

Discursive faculty, 1 20. 

Doctors of the Church, 37, 41 et 
seq. 

Dogmatism, 280 ; metaphysical, 



Doubt, 90. 

Dualism, 40, 61, 62, 164, 271. 

Duns Scotus, 50. 



Index. 



361 



Eastern Church, 42. 
Ecclesiastical philosophy, 24, 25, 

37 et seq. 
Eclectic, 35. 

Education, in Plato, 209. 
Effect, 137. 

Effective thought, 24, 42. 
Ego, 161. See Descartes, Soul. 
Elaborative faculty, 120, 137. 
Emerson, his aphasia, 80. 
Empedocles, 217. 
Empiricism, 57. 
Ends, 185, 220, 287. 
Entelechy, 217, 303. 
Epictetus, 30, 35, 40. 
Epicureans, 27, 29, 35, 39. 
Epicurus, 29, 30, 219. 
Epistemology and logic, 4, 13 ; 

e., philosophy as, 5, 9, 10 et 

seq. ; e. and psychology, u, 12 ; 

beginnings of, 23. See Plato, 

Spinoza. 

Erigena, 42, 46, 47. 
Error, 254. 

Ethical standard, 198. 
Ethics, a department of philosophy, 

2, 181 ; as a science, 184 ; e. and 

psychology, 191 ; e. and politics, 

198 ; e. and Christianity, 199 ; e, 

and theology, 199. 
Euclid, 36, 209. 
Evolution, 147, 264, 357. 
Experience, 58, 94, 148, 285, 311, 

339 ; e. and reason, 23, 58, 64, 

71, 242. 
Experientialism, 58, 112, 138, 145, 

152, 315, 326, 335- 
Experientialists, 64. 

Faculty psychology, 119. 

Faith and philosophy, 38, 40 ; f. 

and reason, 4850. 
P atalism, 193. 
Fathers, Christian, 41. 
Ferrier, 165. 
Fichte, 63, 355. 
Final cause, 287. 
Fischer, Kuno, 56, 251, 271, 277. 



Forms of intention, 126, 324 et 

seq. 

Freewill, 136, 192 et seq., 352. 
Frobel, 190. 

Galileo, 54, 55, 210, 235. 
Galton, F., Si. 
Gassendi, 235, 247. 
General philosophy, i, 2. 
Generalisation, 68, 137, 143. 
Generic images, 80, 81. 
Geulincx, 59, 60, 62, 141, 266, 270, 

273- 
God, idea of, 103, 249 et seq., 

345. 35 -354. 

Good, idea of the, 206. 

Greek philosophy, historical sketch 
of, 24 et seq. ; under Scholas 
ticism, 39. 

Green, on method, 3, 159. 

Grote, 101, 203, 219, 224-229. 

Hamilton, confuses psychology and 
philosophy, 2, 120; his classifi 
cation of philosophers, 23; his 
philosophic position, 63, 78 ; on 
faculty, 119; on cause, 137; 
on matter, 163 ; on freewill, 195 ; 
on Aristotle, 225. 

Harmony, pre-established, 302. 

Hartley, 65, 66, 115, 335. 

Harvey, 54. 

Hegel, 13, 63, 149, 212, 283, 355. 

Heracleitus, 31, 32, 48. 

Heredity, 147. 

Hipparchus, 35. 

Hippocrates, 35, 223. 

History, 19 ; in philosophy and 
in science, 20, 22 ; of Western 
philosophy in outline, 23 et seq.; 
of psychology, 214. 

Hobbes, 57, 64, 78, 232, 235, 247, 

257- 

Homo mensura, 34, 205, 222. 
Hooke, 261. 
Hume, his scepticism, 57, 59, 63, 

1 1 5 ; his Experientialism, 65, 1 1 3; 

his Nominalism, 78 ; on associa- 



362 



Index. 



tion, 114; on cause, 114, 137, 
140 ; his theory of matter, 160; 
and Protagoras, 205 ; and Kant, 
313, 319, 321, 323, 334, 352. 

Idea, in Plato, 71 ; in Descartes, 
104; in Hume, 104, 114; in 
Kant, 128, 162. 330 et seq. 

Ideal, 185. 

Idealism, 28, 56, 71, 72, 212. 

Imagination, 9, 227, 337. 

Imitation, 150. 

Immaterialism, in Plato, 31 ; in 
Berkeley, 157. 

Immortality, 352-354. 

Import, 15, 22, 66. 

Indeterminism, 192. 

Individualism, 115, 149. 

Induction, 94, 137, 143, 239, 242. 

Inductive logic, 189. 

Inductive method, 75. 

Innate ideas, 99, 103, 250. 

Instinct, 103. 

Intellection, 2, 15, 67, 75. 

Intuition, 103, 237, 327, 340. 

Italian nature-philosophers, 52. 

James, on belief, 84. 

Jesuits, 231, 271. 

Jevons, 117, 125, 189, 241. 

Jewish philosophy, 36, 59, 219, 

278. 

Joel, Dr., 277. 

Judgments, 127, 138, 255, 333. 
Justinian, emperor, 26. 

Kant, 9; his division of philosophy, 
56; his philosophic position, 
58,63,67, i24et seq.,244, 304; 
influenced by Hume, 59, 65, 
32i, 3 2 3, 334J his theory of 
space, 129, 324 et seq.; his 
influence, 63, 65 ; on experience, 
125; his Idealism, 161 ; his 
Realism, 162 ; on self, 162 ; on 
proof, 253 ; on intellectual syn 
thesis, 331 ; on pure reason, 
339 ; on soul, 346. 



Knowledge, its philosophical im 
port, 14, 15, 6u, 341 ; theory of, 
see Epistemology ; kn. and belief, 
1 6, 86 ; universality in, 21, 68, 
126 ; nature of, 23, 57, 85; dis 
cussed by Plato, 31, 204 et seq; 
as relative, 33; objectivity of, 
97, 1 1 6, 154; a posteriori and 
a priori, 125, 332; necessity 
in, 126, 130. 

Kritik of Pure Reason, 124, 317. 

Lange, 32. 

Language and universals, 78-83, 
150. 

Laura Bridgman, 83. 

Law in science, 136; as norm, 
182 ; moral, 354. 

Laws, by Plato, 202. 

Leibniz, a scientific discoverer, 54 ; 
a Cartesian. 59-65; a Rationalist, 
107 ; L. and Locke,(7o^; on 
Descartes, 246 ; on necessary 
truth, 109, 324; on continuity, 
260, 300 ; on substance, 296 ; 
on soul, 298. ^-_ 

Lewes, 149. 

Leucippus, 31. 

Locke, his Experientialism, 57, 64- 
66, 105; Nominalist and Con- 
ceptualist, 78 ; his influence, 
1 10 ; L. and Berkeley, 113; his 
doctrine of matter, 155 ; on 
space, 259. 

Logic, a department of (practical) 
philosophy, 2, 3, 1 81 ; as science, 
3, 183 ; /. and epistemology, 4 ; 
/. and psychology, 1 86 ; depart 
ments of, 189. 

Lucretius, 30, 35. 

Mahaffy, 307. 

Maimonides, 276. 

Malebranche, 59, 60, 62, 142, 262, 

266, 271, 274, 276. 
Man, the measure of all things, 

32 et seq. 
Mansel, 82, 144. 



Index. 



363 



Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, 35, 

40. 

Martineau, 141. 
Materialialism, 32, 113, 170, 236, 

347- 

Mathematics, 209, 232, 283, 322 
et seq., 340. 

Mechanical philosophy, 27, 31. 

Mediaeval philosophy, 24, 37 et 
seq. 

Memory, 227, 263. 

Metaphysic, 5, 7, 321 et seq., 339 
et seq. 

Mill, James, 8, 66, 78, 335. 

Mill, John S., confuses psychology 
and philosophy, 2 ; rejects onto 
logy, 8 ; confuses logic and 
epistemology, 13; his philoso 
phical position, 66, 67, 116; on 
Realism, 75 ; a- Nominalist, 78 ; 
on uniformity of nature, 95 ; as 
a logician, 117, 187, 240; on 
cause, 142 ; on external world, 

I7 2 , 335- 
Mind, philosophy of, I ; m. and 

world, 22, 27, 28; and body, 

177, 271. 

Modern philosophy, 53, 56 et seq. 
Modern scientific movement, 54, 

55- 

Modes, 256 et seq., 274, 282. 
Monadology, 108, 180, 300. 
Monads, 108, 180, 300. 
Monism, 274. 
Morality, 184, 199, 295. 
Morteira, 276. 
Motive, I94et seq. 
Muscular sense, 67, 132, 171, 226, 

328, 337- 

Nature and mind, 8, 27, 28 ; philo 
sophy of, 5 1 ; n. and experience, 
332; uniformity of, 95, 136; 
n. and God, 274, 289. 

Necessity. See Knowledge, Organ 
ism, Freewill. 

Neo-Platonism, 35, 43, 47. 

Newton, 54, 67, 260, 299, 308. 



Nominalism, extreme, 49, 80 ; 

mediaeval, 72-84; in Aristotle, 

228. 

Nominalists, 64, 150. 
Nomology, 3, 122, 182. 
Norm, 182. 

Noiimenon, 162, 341, 355. 
Nous, 33, 101, 208, 217. 

Object, 1 66, 189, 221. 
Objective, in philosophy, 250. 
Objectivity of knowledge, 97, 116, 

154. 

Occasionalism, 62, 141, 270. 
Ontology, 5, 7, n, 320. 
Opinion, 206. 

Organism, as predetermined, 133. 
Origen, 39. 

Pantheism, 75, 142, 271. 

Papal supremacy, 48. 

Parallelism, 293. 

Paralogism, 161, 346 et seq. 

Parmenides, 31, 32, 48. 

Parmenides, 202, 204, an. 

Pascal, 54. 

Passions, 262 et seq., 294. 

Patristic philosophy, 37 et seq. 

Pearson, Prof. Karl, 277. 

Perception, philosophical aspect 
of, 4, 14, 70; in Plato, 71 ; and 
belief, 93 ; of external world, 
154 et seq., 169 ; confused, 265, 
300. 

Peripatetics, 29. 

Personality, 173. 

Phado, 204, 210, 213. 

Philebus, 202, 204, 211. 

Philosophy, psychological basis of, 
i, 2, 356; confused with psy 
chology, 2, 16; its meaning and 
history, 5, 6 ; ph. and conduct, 
6, 17, 182 ; ph. and science, 6, 
17 et seq., 54, 74-76; aspects 
of, 10; ph. and insight, 17; 
Greek, 24-36 ; mediseval, 37- 
53 ; modern, 56 et seq. ; and 
mathematics, 283, 322-330. 



3 6 4 



Index. 



Phenomenalism, 160, 294. 
Phenomenology, 4, n, i 22 , 182, 

341. 

Philolaus, 30, 31. 

Physics, 7, n, 210. 

Plato, his use of terms, 5 ; his 
influence, 26, 35, 50 ; his Ideal 
ism, 28, 35 ; his theory of ideas, 
34, 99, 210; his Realism, 46, 
68-71; on pre-existence, 71, 148; 
his epistemology, 201 et seq. ; 
his life, 201 ; his psychology, 

Platonism, 73. 

Plotinus, 30, 36, 40. 

Pollock, Sir F., 274, 277. 

Porphyry, 30, 43, 46, 67. 

Predestination, 193. 

Predisposition, 105, 118, 147. 

Pre-existence, 71, 148, 213. 

Presentative consciousness, 121. 

Pre-Socratics, 31 et seq., 202. 

Probability, 88, 237. 

Proclus, 30, 40. 

Productive Imagination, 326- 
329- 

Prolegomena, Kant s, 317 et seq. 

Proof and discovery, 240; of God s 
existence in Descartes, 250; in 
Kant, 253. 

Protagoras, 31 et seq., 205, 222, 
225. 

Psychological philosophy, 65. 

Psychology, as basis of philosophy, 
1,2: as distinct from philosophy, 
2, 1 6, 182 ; and from episte 
mology in particular, n, 12; 
history of, 214; rational, 345- 
346. 

Ptolemy, 35. 

Pure reason, 125, 317. 

Pythagoras, 31. 

Qualities, doctrine -of, 155, 171, 

222, 257. 

Rationalism, 58, 59. 

Realism, 47 et seq., 56, 70-76, 164. 



Reality, 4, 14, 15, 17, 62,91,175, 

253. 
Reason, 22, 49, 58, 64, 68, 122, 

162, 311, 340, 344. 
Reasoning, 186. 
Reflexion, 109. 
Regius, 236, 270. 
Regulative doctrine, 3, 4, 181 et 

seq., 351. 

Regulative faculty, 120, 137. 
R eid, 23, 57, 63, 79, 118, 163, 

191. 
Relativity of knowledge, 10, 165, 

173; in Plato, 205. 
Renaissance, 52 et seq. 
Reneri, 270. 
Representative imagination, 120, 

325. 

Reprcsentationism, 164. 
Reproductive faculty, i 20. 
Republic, 202 et seq. 
Res, 77. 

Roscellin, 49, 81. 
Ruskin, 75. 

Sayce, 81 n., 83. 

Scepticism, 57. See Hume. 

Schelling, 63. 

Scholasticism, 24, 25, 37 et seq., 
102, 23?, 250, 269, 278 ; limita 
tions of, 44 ; the case for, 45 ; 
Realism in, 47 et seq. ; divisions 
of, 48. 

Schwegler, 56. 

Science, and philosophy, 6, 1 7, 74 ; 
history of, 20 ; modern, 54, 55 ; 
s. and language, 82, 83 ; causa 
tion in, 139; classification of, 
20 9> 35 8 ; f nature, 322, 331, 
34 - 

Scottish school, 63, 78. See Com 
mon Sense. 

Sensationalism, 33, 67, 82, 99. 

Sense, in Plato ; in Kant, 336. See 
Active, Experience, Muscular. 

Shelley, 70. 

Sidgwick, 191. 

Sight, 92. 



Index. 



365 



Simplicius, 37. 

Social factor, 149, 199. 

Sociology, 184. 

Socrates, 27 et seq., 70, 202, 218. 

Solidarity, 149. 

Solipsism, 179. 

Sophist es, 202. 

Sophists, 28 et seq., 222. 

Soul, Aristotle s definition of, 1 73, 
215; Plato on the, 221 ; immor 
tality of, 352-354. See Animism, 
Descartes, Kant, Leibniz. 

Space, 1 26 et seq., 285, 323 et seq., 
341 et seq. 

Speech. See Language. 

Spencer, mixes up psychology and 
philosophy, 2 ; his philosophical 
position, 67, 215; on heredity, 
148 ; his Realism, 166 ; on ethics, 
184. 

Spinoza, 59-63; life of, 276; on 
Descartes, 250, 280 et seq. ; as 
Cartesian, 274 et seq.; asMonist, 
279 ; as Occasionalist, 280 ; his 
psychology, 293 ; his epistemo- 
logy, 294. 

Spinozism, 274 et seq. 

Standard, ethical, 198. 

Stephen, Leslie, 184. 

Stewart, Dugald, 63, 79, 118, 306. 

Stoics, 29, 34, 35. 

Subject, 166, 189, 221. 

Subjectivity, 175, 217. 

Substance, 61, 62, 73, 175, 250, 
280. 

Substantialism, 61. 

Synthesis, 240, 331 et seq. 

Synthetic propositions, 127, 323, 
334, 35 1 - 

Tabula rasa, 102, 106, 147, 230. 
Taine, on the concept, 79. 
Teleology, 32, 220, 298. 



Telesius, 52. 

Tertullian, 39. 

Thetztetus, 35, 202 et seq. 

Thales, 24, 26, 218. 

Theodicy, 302. 

Theory of Knowledge. See Episte- 

mology. 

Thought, 120, 186, 336, 343. 
Timceus, 43, 202, 212. 
Time, 126 et seq., 332, 341. 
Touch, 92, 222. 
Transition to modern thought, 51- 

53- 

Truth, 187. 
Tycho Brahe, 261. 

Ultimate inquiry, 4. 
Unconditioned, 345, 349. 
Understanding, 121, 187, 208, 344; 

categories of the, 128, 334, 342. 
Uniformity of nature, 95. 
Universalia, Universals, 23,47, ^6, 

68-84. 
Universality, in philosophy, 21, 

22 ; in knowledge, 21, 68, 126. 

Validity, 15. 

Verification, 17, 29, 95, 185. 
Voetius, 270. 
Voltaire, 67. 

Wallace, Edwin, 214 et seq. 

W he well, 307. 

Will, 86, 192,255, 353. See Free 
will. 

William of Ockham, 37,50, 51, 74. 

Wirgman, 306. 

Wisdom, 6, 183. 

Wolff, 56, 59, 313, 320, 345. 

World, as external, 23, 27, 154 et 
seq. 

Zeno, 29, 30. 



THE END. 



OXFORD : HORACE HART 
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY 



THE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION MANUALS, 

EDITED BY PROFESSOR KNIGHT, 

OF ST. ANDREWS UNIVERSITY. 



THE REALM OF NATURE : A Manual of Physiography. By 
Dr. HUGH ROBERT MILL, Librarian to the Royal Geographical 
Society. With 19 Coloured Maps and 68 Illustrations. 380 pp. 
Crown 8vo, $s. 

THE STUDY OF ANIMAL LIFE. By J. ARTHUR THOMSON, 
Lecturer on Zoology, School of Medicine, Edinburgh. With 
many Illustrations. Crown 8vo, 5^. 

THE ELEMENTS OF ETHICS. By JOHN R. MuiRHEAD, 
Balliol College, Oxford ; Lecturer on Moral Science, Royal 
Holloway College ; Examiner in Philosophy to the University 
of Glasgow. Crown 8vo, 3^. 

THE FINE ARTS. By BALDWIN BROWN, Professor of Fine Art, 
University of Edinburgh. With Illustrations. Crown 8vo, $s.6d. 

ENGLISH COLONIZATION AND EMPIRE, ByA.CALDE- 
COTT, Fellow and Dean of St. John s College, Cambridge ; and 
Professor of Philosophy, King s College, London. Coloured 
Maps and Plans. Crown 8vo, "$s.6d. 

FRENCH LITERATURE. By H. G. KEENE, Wadham College, 
Oxford ; Fellow of the University of Calcutta. Crown 8vo, *$s. 

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE BEAUTIFUL. By Professor 
KNIGHT, University of St. Andrews. Parts I and II. Crown 
8vo, 3.9. 6d. each part. 

THE USE AND ABUSE OF MONEY. By W. CUNNINGHAM, 
D.D., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; Professor of 
Economic Science, King s College, London. Crown 8vo, $s. 

THE RISE OF THE BRITISH DOMINION IN INDIA, 
from the Early Days of the East India Company to the Con 
quest of the Panjab. By Sir ALFRED LYALL, K.C.S.I., 
G.C.B. With Coloured Maps. Crown 8vo, 5^. 

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. By C. E. MALLET, Balliol 
College, Oxfqrd. Crown 8vo, $s. 6d. 

OUTLINES OF ENGLISH LITERATURE. By WILLIAM 
RENTON. With Illustrative Diagrams. Crown 8vo, $s.6d. 

AN INTRODUCTION TO MODERN GEOLOGY. By R. 
D. ROBERTS, formerly University Lecturer on Geology in the 
University of Cambridge. W T ith Coloured Maps and Illus 
trations. Crown 8vo, 5-y. 



UNIVERSITY EXTENSION MANUALS (continued}. 

THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE SENSES. By JOHN McKEN- 
DRICK, Professor of Physiology in. the University of Glasgow ; 
and Dr. SNODGRASS, Physiological Laboratory, Glasgow. With 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo, 4^. 6d. 

CHAPTERS IN MODERN BOTANY. By PATRICK GEDDES, 
Professor of Botany, University College, Dundee. With Illus 
trations. Crown 8vo, $s. 6d. 

GREECE IN THE AGE OF PERICLES. By A. J. GRANT, 
King s College, Cambridge, and Staff Lecturer in History to 
the University of Cambridge. Crown 8vo, $s. 6d. 

LOGIC, INDUCTIVE AND DEDUCTIVE. By WILLIAM 
MINTO, late Professor of Logic and Literature, University of 
Aberdeen. With Diagrams. Crown 8vo, 4-y. 6d. 

THE ENGLISH NOVEL, FROM ITS ORIGIN TO SIR 
W- SCOTT. By WALTER RALEIGH, Professor of English 
Literature, University College, Liverpool. Crown 8vo, $s. 6d. 

HISTORY OF RELIGION. By ALLAN MENZIES, D.D., Pro 
fessor of Biblical Criticism in the University of St. Andrews. 5^. 

LATIN LITERATURE. By J. W. MACKAIL, Balliol College, 
Oxford. Crown 8vo, 3^. 6d. 

THE JACOBEAN POETS. By EDMUND GOSSE, Trinity 
College, Cambridge. Crown 8vo, 3^. 6d. 

SHAKSPERE AND HIS PREDECESSORS IN THE 
ENGLISH DRAMA. By F. S. BOAS, Balliol College, 
Oxford. Crown 8vo, 6s. 

ELEMENTS OF PSYCHOLOGY. By GEORGE CROOM 
ROBERTSON, late Grote Professor, University College, London. 
Edited by Mrs. C. A. F. RHYS DAVIDS, M.A. Crown 8vo. 

ELEMENTS OF PHILOSOPHY. By GEORGE CROOM 
ROBERTSON, late Grote Professor, University College, London. 
Edited by Mrs. C. A. F. RHYS DAVIDS, M.A. Crown 8vo. 
The following are in preparation: 

AN INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL SCIENCE. By 
JOHN Cox, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge ; Professor 
of Experimental Physics, McGill College, Montreal. 

THE ENGLISH POETS, FROM BLAKE TO TENNYSON. 
By Rev. STOPFORD A. BROOKE, Trinity College, Dublin. 

THE HISTORY OF ASTRONOMY. By ARTHUR BERRY, 
Fellow of King s College, Cambridge ; Secretary to the Cam 
bridge University Extension Syndicate. 

A HISTORY OF EDUCATION. By JAMES DONALDSON, 
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews. 

JOHN MURRAY, Albemarle Street. 






UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
LIBRARY 



DO NOT 

REMOVE 

THE 

CARD 

FROM 

THIS 

POCKET